WJZ Remembers Oprah As She Starts New Chapter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) –The world is celebrating Oprah as she ends her talk show after 25 years. The Oprah Winfrey Show signed off for the final time Wednesday. But many of us at WJZ are remembering the years she spent with us here.

Denise Koch reports the career of the world’s most popular talk show host really took off when she hit the airwaves in Baltimore, and everybody who watched her then knew they were watching someone special.

She may be an international sensation, but Oprah Winfrey’s path to stardom started right here on Television Hill where WJZ made Oprah a household name in Baltimore.

Winfrey came to WJZ from Nashville in 1976 when she was 22. She anchored the 6 p.m.with Jerry Turner, eventually the noon news and co-hosted “People are Talking” with Richard Sher.

Her years on WJZ’s weekday morning talk show put Winfrey on the map. She was willing to share whatever was on her mind.

“If American women are lousy lovers, it is because their partners — American men–  are lousy,” Winfrey said then.

“How terrible. I got a hair in mine. I put one of my hairs in it. I’m sorry, go ahead,” said Winfrey another time.

Mornings haven’t been the same since she debuted WJZ’s “Morning Edition” in 1982 with Marty Bass.

When Winfrey left WJZ in 1983, many familiar faces sent her off to Chicago with warm wishes.

“She has made my work a joy, really. My life is a joy because this is generally my life here. I wish her the best, really,” said anchor Jerry Turner.

“Oprah, all I can tell you is the Windy City is aptly named. You better bring your parka,” said Bob Turk.

“Oprah is one of the few human beings in this business that I’ve met–a true genuine person who also has talent,” said anchor Al Sanders.

A few years ago, Oprah Winfrey returned to WJZ.

“I have so many friends here. This is like being home,” she said.

She handed out hugs and took a walk down memory lane with Richard Sher.

“It felt really good driving up the hill. I was kind of disoriented, but as soon as I hit Malden, man, I knew exactly where I was. It’s really good,” said Winfrey. “As you know, this is where I got my stuff here, working with you every day.”

More from Denise Koch


    • EDiva75

      Who gives a damn about you. Since you have the time and ability to post this silly comment why not go online to find issues that concern you as part of the American Idiot (to quote Greenday’s song) public. You ever think the time waste to post this comment could be used by you to concern yourself with issues that do concern you? Hmmm?

    • Bessa Anderson

      Peace 2 U

  • Violet

    Congratulations, O! You are a wonderful journalist & a dynamic person!

  • EDiva75

    Before she was welcomed into the hearts of America and The World as a part of their tv family SHE WAS A PART OF BALTIMORE FAMILY FIRST! BETTA RECOGNIZE!!! I get tired of lamestream media downplaying her wonderful time she learn the game and got her skills hooked up when she was in Baltimore!!! I grew up as a little girl seeing her and Richard Sher on “People Are Talking” during the early 80’s. Such memories!!

  • Pooh

    Oprah is a wonderful person, I actually met her at the WJZ-TV station over there on TV hill. Congratulations Ms. Thing.

  • Bessa Anderson

    I was sad when OPRAH left WJZ TV…I looked forward to PEOPLE ARE TALKING with Oprah and Richard….I never will forget the day Perdue( The Sr. Perdue) if you do not remember the incident. Look it up! I do not have time to tell the story now.

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  • adraine

    congrats oprah

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