How Rich is Oprah Winfrey Really?
On the Forbes list of America’s richest self-made women, Oprah gives Winfrey one Assets of 2.32 billion euros a top place for years. The sum is fed, among other things, from the Pay TV broadcaster OWN, of their HARPO production company and last but not least from fees for occasional film roles. Her activity in other categories of the business magazine (“Power Woman”, “Powerful People” etc.) illustrates Oprah Winfrey’s eminent status.
Talking about Oprah Winfrey means talking in superlatives. The presenter and entrepreneur made television history with her Oprah Winfrey show. In addition to material wealth, the Afro-American owes her reputation and influence to the show. A judgment like “She has more credibility than the President”, uttered by the journalist Maureen Dowd, is hard to beat. A look at the childhood and adolescence of today’s multi-billion dollar power woman shows that this reputation is of course hard-earned.
Childhood and adolescence
Born out of wedlock to underage parents in rural Mississippi: This is how the life of one of the most important women in the American media business began on January 29, 1954. In 1986, during her show, Winfrey announced that she had been molested by several family members at the age of 9. At the age of 13 she ran away from home, a year later she became pregnant for the first time, but lost the child shortly after the birth. Her mother, overwhelmed with the upbringing, sent Oprah to live with her birth father Vernon Winfrey in Nashville, Tennessee.
First experiences on radio and TV
While still in Nashville high school, Oprah Winfrey began hosting for a local radio station. At the television station WLAC-TV, she was not only the youngest, but also the first black news anchor. In 1976 she moved to Baltimore, Maryland as a newscaster. Here she gained her first experience in 1978 as a co-presenter in the talk show “People Are Talking” and in the popular game show “Dialing for Dollars”.
The Oprah Winfrey Show
After Winfrey moved to Chicago in 1983, she hosted the morning talk show “AM Chicago” there from 1984 onwards. Within a few months, the show became Chicago’s most popular talk show. The format was expanded to 1 hour and first broadcast on September 8, 1986 as “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. At peak times, the show achieved daily ratings of 8.6 million viewers. The guests included celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson and Tom Cruise. The sometimes highly dramatic and emotional show came to an end on May 25, 2011.
As a business woman to a billion fortune
Motivated by her success as a talk show host, Winfrey developed an unparalleled business acumen. In 1986 she founded – as the first black woman – the production company HARPO Productions, which sold her show in more than 110 countries. Ten years later she developed “Oprah’s Book Club”, a format in which she presented newly published books. Her reading recommendations regularly stormed the bestseller lists. The titles recommended in this way sold more than 1 million copies on average. The end of the program in 2002 was noted with regret by the book industry.
10% stake in Weight Watchers
In October 2015, Weight Watchers announced that Oprah was using 10 percent of the shares entered the company may be. That 10 percent cost a total of $ 43 million. She is also on the company’s board and has also secured another option of 5% shares. Oprah is actively helping to shape the company and Weight Watchers also benefits from her good name. Because the share price increased properly after the announcement of the deal. Meanwhile, the deal has paid off for Oprah, because apparently the earnings are already over $ 300 million.
More examples from Oprah Winfrey’s portfolio of women entrepreneurs:
- CBS: Winfrey owns $ 100 million worth of shares in the television network, making him one of CBS’s major shareholders.
- O, The Oprah Magazine: The lifestyle magazine for women, founded in 2000, was one of the most spectacular startups in the USA and has a print run of around 2.4 million copies.
- Oprah.com: The website is the digital hub of all Winfrey activities and has more than 70 million page views per month.
- Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN): The pay TV broadcaster reaches more than 80 million pay TV households, around 70% of all households in the USA with a TV connection.
Winfrey uses her outstanding social position in the USA to stand up for the disadvantaged. She is committed to the right to education and advocates the protection of women and children. In 2005, Business Week magazine put theirs Total donations to $ 300 million and counted her among the 50 most generous philanthropists in the world.
Cover picture: Starfrenzy + Joe Seer / Bigstock.com
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