WBEZ's critically-acclaimed bio-podcast series explores how an icon is made.
Making Oprah: The Inside Story of a TV Revolution is a public radio podcast -- about a daytime talk show. This fall marks 30 years since the national debut of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Be the first to hear a sneak peek of WBEZ’s three-part series featuring interviews with Winfrey, her onetime ratings rival Phil Donahue, former producers and staffers, and TV executives.
It was 30 years ago this fall that Oprah Winfrey first said “hellooooo” to a national audience. By the show’s finale in 2011, it was aired in 145 countries and watched by more than 40 million viewers a week in the U.S. alone. Today’s daytime hosts like Ellen and Dr. Oz? They now average only about a tenth of that.
If Oprah mentioned a book title, it became a best-seller. She landed the interviews that no one else could get. Her mes...
In the second episode of Making Oprah, we explore how The Oprah Winfrey Show elevated itself out of the heap of trash TV and into a show that intentionally embraced spirituality and positivity.
The early years of Oprah’s show often relied on sensational, tabloidy topics – cheating husbands, sexy clothes, and murderers. It was not yet the ‘Live Your Best Life’ Oprah we would come to know and love.
“It was during those shows where I...
In the show’s final decade, Oprah and her team staged massive spectacles of increasing grandiosity, from the infamous car giveaway to a 21,000-person flash mob that shut down part of Chicago.
“It had become increasingly more difficult to top what you’d done the year before,” Oprah told WBEZ’s Jenn White. “I mean, to the point where we literally sat in a room saying ‘What about outer space?’ ”
That’s what we look at now: Oprah livin...
If you look at any image from the Oprah Winfrey Show, you can pretty much figure out what decade it’s from by looking at Oprah’s hairstyle.
In this short bonus episode, host Jenn White talks to Oprah’s longtime stylist Andre Walker about the high stakes of doing the hair of the most watched woman on television.
For more than 10 years after the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah deliberately avoided having politicians on her show, particularly during election seasons. In this bonus episode of Making Oprah, host Jenn White talks to Oprah about the role politics played - and didn’t play - in the history of the Oprah Winfrey show.
In our final bonus installment, the Making Oprah production team revisits an extended interview with daytime talk show legend Phil Donahue. His pioneering show, Donahue, aired from 1967 to 1996 and laid the groundwork for Oprah’s program. It tackled heady, controversial issues - and landed frothy exclusives with A-list celebrities. Donahue also used his studio audience and callers in ways that were both innovative and intimate.
Before he was the 44th President, Barack Obama worked as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. Hear how the city shaped his political ambitions.
When Barack Obama first came to Chicago, a political transformation was happening in the city. Hear how that change inspired him.
In 2000, Barack Obama ran for Congress against a Chicago political legend. It became a contest about race and identity.
Former president Barack Obama has only lost one election in his life. It was in 2000, and that defeat set him on the course for his eventual U.S. Senate run. Making Obama is a production of listener-supported WBEZ Chicago. Support WBEZ and the future of podcasts like this at https://wbez.org/making
Just two and a half years after his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, Barack Obama announced he was running for president.
From the makers of Making Obama, WBEZ Chicago presents Making Beyoncé, a new three-part bio-podcast series that explores Beyoncé Knowles’ rise from local talent shows to global musical icon.
Find episodes of Making Beyoncé right here beginning Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.
Before the Grammys, before the platinum records, before Destiny’s Child, there was just a shy girl growing up in Houston. We follow Beyoncé Knowles from the stages of local talent shows to her first crack at a record deal with the group Girls Tyme.
After failing to secure a record deal, Beyoncé and the members of Girls Tyme try another avenue to success: a TV talent competition. The girls are poised and ready for the national spotlight, but tensions in the group are rising behind the scenes.
After Girls Tyme dissolves, Beyoncé and the other girls begin building their new group, Destiny’s Child. Finally, things start to click.
In the lead up to Beyoncé's solo album debut, Dangerously in Love, a lot was at stake. She was hoping to break out not only as a solo artist, but as a star on multiple levels — music, endorsements and film. Along the way she’d find love, but she’d also have to battle doubt, even within the record label.
If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.
The Breakfast Club
The World's Most Dangerous Morning Show, The Breakfast Club, With DJ Envy, Angela Yee And Charlamagne Tha God!
This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.