Enjoying the Process
After high school, Oprah worked for a local radio station. However, she was only hired part-time to read the news. She then applied to and won an oratory contest which landed her a full scholarship to Tennessee State University where she studied communications. Over the next few years, Winfrey worked as a news anchor for several different stations. In 1976 though, Oprah moved to Baltimore and hosted the show, “People Are Talking.” The show started off small but quickly became a hit, and she hosted that for about eight years.
Then, in 1984, she relocated to Chicago and was given the job of taking over the hosting position of a small, half-hour program called “AM Chicago.” The show was at the bottom of the ratings and had to compete with the very popular talk show, “The Phil Donahue Show.” It wasn’t easy competing with that, and Oprah Winfrey faced many obstacles trying to bring in viewership for her show.
But again, that didn’t get her down. When she looked back, Oprah said, in her characteristic upbeat attitude about the topic, “I don’t believe in failure. It’s not failure if you enjoy the process.” Within a couple of years, she was able to pull the ratings steadily up, eventually to where they soared over those of Phil Donahue and landed her the #1 spot on the ratings chart. Oprah was invited to extend the length of her program to a full hour, and it was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”