HARPO Productions Inc. is a privately held company and it was founded by Oprah Winfrey and her lawyer Jeff Jacobs in 1986; a production company that used her first name spelled backwards. In 1988, the company took full charge of Winfrey’s show. It also includes HARPO Films and HARPO Radio, Inc. The facilities are on the city’s Near West Side neighborhood of Chicago and with additional offices in Los Angeles. In 1990s, “This Company had annual revenues of about $150 million with the number employees working for this company” (Encyclopedia of Chicago).
The HARPO Productions, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of HARPO Entertainment Group. The organization has grown to include over 220 people, of whom 68 percent are women and has a modest turnover of 10 to 15 percent. In 2002, The Oprah Winfrey Show impressed the industry with an average of 7. 2 million viewers per episode, beating the second-ranked show by 35 percent. (“Oprah. com”) The HARPO Productions Inc. is the “umbrella company” for the entertainment and media entrepreneur, talk show, host, actress, and producer Oprah. Winfrey used her popularity on television to expand into movie production and publishing, making her the most successful African American business owner in the United States and one of the wealthiest entertainers in the world. ” (“Reference for Business”) The HARPO Productions Inc. is one of the most successful corporation in the entertainment history. HARPO Productions Inc. has an internship program to help students and young professionals offering a platform in the business world.
This will provide the possibility for them to be hired in a future and become successful intern’s students who demonstrate dedication and good learning skills. Oprah is the most interested and committed to concentrate on important topics in order to help others to succeed in life, for example - alcoholism or building family relationships. Throughout the years she has learned how many people suffer with these two big issues, and therefore; she dedicated many of her shows specifically to this topic.
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Moreover; it helped a lot to increase the power of her show and her popularity in many different ways. The main goal is to help people to feel better in their own lives. The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Oprah Winfrey started her career in 1973 as a broadcasting reporter on a radio station in Nashville, Tennessee. Later, in January 1984, she began to host WLS-TV' program - a morning talk show in Chicago, which in September 1985 became "The Oprah Winfrey Show". According to Business Network BNET "on September 8, 1986. 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' was televised nationwide.
Less than a year later, the program was ranked the top syndicated talk show in the United States....... In June 1987 the show received three Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Host, Outstanding Talk/Service Program, and Outstanding Direction. " The "Oprah Winfrey Show" stayed number one day time talk show for 12 years strait and winning twenty five Emmys plus seven that went to Oprah herself. Despite Oprah's difficult childhood, in 1988 she became "the first woman in the history to own and produce her own talk show". (www. fundinguniverse. om) Today, Oprah is an owner and the chair of HARPO Productions Inc; along with HARPO Stu¬dios, HARPO Films, HARPO Print LLC; and HARPO Video, with a total net worth of over $1 billion. Oprah is the Chairman and Chief Executive officer but Erik Logan and Sheri Salata have been named Co-Presidents of HARPO Productions Inc. Both are to continue being presidents with remaining base at HARPO Productions headquarters in Chicago. Tim Bennett was the active president until May of this year and Douglas J. Pattison is the Chief Financial Officer.
According to the article “Bloomberg Businessweek” the “Salata and Logan will lead HARPO Productions efforts as the company develops new programming beyond for “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for the syndication, prime, cable, radio, digital, and emerging platforms. ” The idea is for Salata to continue in her role as the executive producer until the end of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” 25th season that is going to be next year in 2011. Oprah Winfrey announced an agreement with the Discovery Health Network in which she will over the net work, renaming it OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network).
With a network under her name, she hopes to inspire viewers to greater actions. Oprah is a leader through her show and on-air book club because she motivates the viewers to change their habits. ”I said from the beginning that this was an opportunity to step out of the box and make the kinds of shows that make my heart sing,” She noted. “ It’s about unleashing the power of human potential; that’s what it’s all about” (Oprah. com). As the years progressed, Oprah quickly realized that she needed to drastically change the direction which her show was heading.
She used renewal strategy to differentiate her show from other day time talk shows. She moved away from thrilling and controversial stuff and started using more positive topics. She began to focus on promoting constant inspiration and personal and professional growth. The main targets are women ages18 and up but Oprah is not shying away from male's listeners either. Several of her shows were done specifically for men or were focusing on men's issues. Her show began to feature poetry, music, literature, as well as human issues, which helped to create much stronger relationship with her audience.
To expand her audience, Oprah added to her repertoire Oxygen Media a cable channel, O - The Oprah Magazine, and the Oprah's Book Club on-air reading club. All of these medias have the same core value - they all promote personal growth and share the life-enriching mission and message of the founder and guiding force of HARPO Productions Inc. - Oprah Winfrey. The fundamental believe of HARPO Productions Inc. is that media can make a positive difference and that individuals can change the world for better place.
This includes the definition of social responsibility "to do the right things and act in ways that are good for society". (textbook, pg 93) Some of the examples of making the world a better place are topics related to spirit, health, relationships, books, money, world, and community. For instant: Oprah is reaching out to her audience with plea to help children of abuse. She "initiated The National Child Protection Act"(www. fundinguniverse. com) in 1993, the Oprah Bill, which established a "national database of all convicted child abusers. " (www. fundinguniverse. om) Several of her shows were done on catching predators, child molesters, convicted child sexual offenders, and interviews with detectives and police officers dealing with this particular issue were Oprah asked her audience to help to catch these fugitives. The viewers respond was enormous because her listeners are mainly women and moms and for them the number one priority is the safety of their children.
Another example would be the creation of "Oprah's Angel Network" where Oprah is encouraging her audience to do charitable work (volunteer for Habitat for Humanity) and make "charitable financial contributions"(www. fundinguniverse. om) for example to provide scholarships for college students. Oprah understands that not everybody have means to help financially and therefore according to Look to The Stars, The World of Celebrity Giving "Oprah gave 300 members of her audience $1000 each to donate to a charity of their choice. " Also, she encourages her viewers to help out in their own communities by donating time and skills. There is no surprise why in 2004, Oprah Winfrey show became the top-rated day time talk show for 17 years with 48 million viewers, or why she was awarded with "Favorite Talk Show Host" at the 30th Annual People's Choice Awards that year.
The HARPO Productions Inc. Strategic Management Process of identifying companies mission, goal and strategy was extremely successful. According to "HARPO Creative Works" the "mission statement for Oprah Winfrey Show is to use television to transform people's lives; to uplift, entertain and enlighten; to make viewers see themselves differently; and to bring a sense of fulfillment into every home. " If Oprah didn't change the curse her show was heading, she would be probably stuck somewhere in between all the other similar day time talk shows as Maury Povich show or Martha Stewart show.
This is exactly why HARPO Productions Inc. has been so triumphant. HARPO Productions Inc. competitive strategy is to be significantly different. Oprah successfully managed to differentiated her talk show from all the other shows that use scandalous, shallow, and sensational topics. She became an icon and yet stayed approachable at the same time. According to "Syndication’s Stars: Trustworthy And Influential" the "Influential Personality Index" illustrates how far ahead from other competitors Oprah's personality ranked. Influential Personality Index Oprah Winfrey 554 Dr. Phil McGraw 306 Tyra Banks 236
Judge Cristina Perez 235 Ellen DeGeneres 223 Judge Lynn Toler 215 Judge Joe Brown 208 Judge Judy Sheindlin 195 Rachael Ray 187 Regis Philbin 186 The undeniable bond between her and her audience based on trust, honesty, and truth ensures loyal viewers. Moreover; the fact that Oprah shares her personal life, her personal struggles and AHA moments with her audience makes her even more human and real, therefore; her audience can relate, which creates even stronger connection in between the two. There are not that many talk show hosts that reveal the true ups and downs of their personal lives to their viewers.
For example Martha Stewart is a convicted felon which makes her a less trustworthy as a role model. The strong connection is not limited to only U. S. audience. The Oprah Winfrey Show is available to over 120 countries worldwide. Some of the episodes focus on global issues and perspectives, which would be another area where Oprah show is differentiating itself from the other shows. The geocentric attitude episodes are focusing on women and the lifestyle in different countries, probable issues and problems women have to face on everyday basis, but also what might be enriching for U.
S. women when they see what other cultures do, don't do, or do differently. For that matter the show features "the world's most engaging guests from the famous to everyday people all changing the world in which we live. " (harpocreativeworks. tv/info) Oprah is reaching out to every home on the planet with the mission "to make viewers see themselves differently; and to bring a sense of fulfillment. "(harpocreativeworks. tv/info) There is no other show that does that. The purpose of each show is to inspire the audience and let each message provoke an actions.
The talk show host Oprah Winfrey with her dynamic personality has an unique power of "Magic Touch". She can turn books into bestsellers, every product mentioned on her show experiences rocketing sales. According to Latif Lewis' article from Daily Finance "an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show [illustrates] just how influential the media mogul can be on product sales.......... It's quite amazing, the effect that a vote of confidence from one human being can have" on success of single product or business as a whole. Moreover; Oprah's enormous competence consists in turning "no names" into a brand names.
The article of Latif Lewis, "Oprah's magic touch can make or break your business" talks about Lisa Price and her "beauty and skin-care line" and how this not so known beauty products had a very valuable promotion: "an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show". After that, Lisa Price was experiencing extremely high demand for her products. She made some financial deals and her "company took off. Carol's Daughter stores can now be found in several U. S. states and the products are carries in retailers like Sephora and Macy's".
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