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Goodbye HARPO! Oprah returns to Chicago to close West Loop Studio

By Marijim D.,

Oprah Winfrey will finally be closing down Harpo Studios. The Chicago studio was where her talk show was filmed for more than 20 years.

Mail Online reported that the daytime talk show queen took to Twitter and Instagram to share photos of Harpo Studios and its final 37 employees on Wednesday night. The studio’s employees will have their last day on Friday.

“The final 37 of the Greatest team in television,” Oprah Winfrey tweeted. “Closing down #Harpo in Chicago. Deep Gratitude to you all!”

Harpo Studios was founded by Winfrey in Chicago last 1986. In 2012, the company had more than 12,000 employees. The studio was responsible for producing Dr. Phil, Rachel Ray and The Dr. Oz Show.

Operations will resume in California. The company began laying off employees last December. All workers knew that the Chicago studio will cease its function this coming April.

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According to The Chicago Tribune, the lease on the space where Harpo Studios is currently in will expire next month. Sterling Bay was able to acquire the property last year.

The company notified the state that they will be shutting operations and that layoffs would be completed by Apr. 1. There were seven other companies that had more than 500 layoffs.

“[Chicago has] been everything for me,” Oprah Winfrey told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve spent more hours in this building than I have any other building on Earth.”

“We were here when there was nothing but hoes and rats on the street, and now it’s one of the hottest neighborhoods [in Chicago]. The time had come to downsize this part of the business and to move forward. It will be sad to say goodbye, but I look ahead with such a knowing that what the future holds is even more than I can see.”

Apparently, the talk show host as well as Harpo presidents Sheri Salata and Erik Logan wants all of their team members to be under one roof. Oprah Winfrey currently runs her network, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network).

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