After 26 years, Oprah Winfrey is leaving Chicago and relocating Harpo Studios by joining her TV network OWN in West Hollywood.
The media mogul alerted her staff yesterday (March 3) about the closure, which will impact 200 employees. Even though the lease for the Chicago $30.5 million 170,000 square foot space lasts until 2016, all commuting between the two cities will stop immediately.
“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,” Winfrey told The Hollywood Reporter.
Two months ago, OWN moved from their location on L.A.’s Miracle Mile to The Lot on Formosa Ave. in West Hollywood and sound-stages and studios for post-production, which were lacking from their original L.A. space.
The Lot has part of the L.A. entertainment industry since around 1918 with classic films such as Some Like It Hot and West Side Story filmed there.
Winfrey plans to continue to grow her 4-year-old network and work on other projects outside of OWN like she recently did on the film Selma. The Hollywood Reporter also reports she will be heading to New York City to possibly get involved with some plays.