WEST LOOP — Oprah Winfrey won't renew a lease on the Harpo Studios lot in the West Loop, Harpo officials confirmed Tuesday.
The longtime home to The Oprah Winfrey Show and many other TV shows will instead close in December, Harpo Productions officials said in a statement. Harpo's move from Chicago to a new state-of-the-art studio in West Hollywood comes after the OWN Network moved to the new space on The Lot in California.
Erik Logan and Sheri Salata, presidents of the OWN network and Harpo Studios, said that Oprah's TV networks has established itself as one of the fastest growing multimedia companies in the past four years, with an expanding programming roster and a diverse slate of new business ventures.
"We have been fortunate to have this spectacular city of Chicago as our home for over 25 years and are thankful to everybody who has been a part of this great company," the leaders said.
Stephanie Lulay says the move is no surprise:
In a statement, Winfrey said that Harpo Studios in Chicago was her home "but also my life" for nearly 30 years.
"I am so proud of what we created," Winfrey said. "It has been a blessing in my life and I thank everyone who has been a part of this great run. I am now looking ahead to inhabiting the new space on The Lot in California and carrying on the legacy of Harpo Studios with OWN programming.”
Oprah — and Harpo's — move out of Chicago began when Winfrey filmed her last episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011. The set subsequently housed The Rosie Show, hosted by Rosie O'Donnell, for less than a year.
In March 2014, Winfrey announced she had sold Harpo Studios to West Loop-based developer Sterling Bay for $32 million.
At the time of the sale, Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. told DNAinfo Chicago that Oprah put the once-gritty West Loop "on the map."
"Oprah helped define the neighborhood. She put it on the map. Sometimes when I go jogging, people ask me to stop to take a picture of them in front of the Harpo sign," said Burnett. "It's a safe and cool area, and she was an early pioneer. We're grateful to her."
Sterling Bay representatives did not immediately return calls Tuesday.
Harpo Studios encompasses a 3.5 acre campus on the city's Near West Side.
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