1986: The Oprah Winfrey show comes to Indianapolis

Posted at 5:00 AM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 05:00:09-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Oprah Winfrey Show made its debut in Indianapolis 35 years ago this week on WRTV.

Shortly before the show’s national launch, former WRTV reporter Barbara Boyd sat down with the 32-year-old host to talk about her success in television.

“Oprah, you’re hot. You’re sizzlin’. Why?” Boyd asked.

“Well, I think I’ve been warming up a long time,” Winfrey said.

“This is my 13th year in television. It started out as a reporter [and] anchorwoman and essentially worked my way through to this point. I believe that everything that you do or I do in our lifetime prepares us for this moment. I have good timing and great stamina.”

Winfrey’s Chicago-based talk show went from last to first in Chicago television, displacing Phil Donahue.

Winfrey said the ability to be herself is key to the show’s success.

“For me, the talk show is best because I can be myself and that is the joy of what I do every day. I don’t have to be objective, I don’t have to be removed, I don’t have to do anything but go on the air and get paid for being myself and for me that’s better.”