Oprah Winfrey is a television host and author. Also, she is an American media mogul. What is her net worth? This question may also come to your mind when you watch her hosting her show. Well, we will reveal the information about it and also the other information about her including her career.
Net Worth of Oprah Winfrey
Reported in Celebrity Net Worth, Oprah Winfrey has a net worth of $3.5 billion as of 2020. Now, she earns around $315 million per year because of her highly media empire which is very profitable.
Now, how can she be a billionaire? She fired her agent. Then, she sent Jeffrey Jacobs back to King World/ ABC to make a new deal. However, King World denied it. It turned out to be a very fortuitous rejection. King World opened the door for Jeffrey Jacobs and Oprah to launch an empire accidentally. Jeffrey and Oprah built HARPO Productions. They did it when negotiations were cold.
Then, King World was in a difficult position. Oprah was attracting record viewer numbers in Chicago. They should have given Oprah a cut of the backend. It would have spent them a few million per year.
King World then came back to the table. However, Oprah did not seek a cut of the backend anymore because she had a plan to produce the show HERSELF. Through HARPO Productions at HARPO Studios, Oprah and Jeffrey, would pay all production costs of the show. Also, King World would be paid by them to syndicate the show nationally.
HARPO was owned by Oprah for 90% and was owned by Jeffrey for 10%. After that, they made a negotiation for a bigger deal with ABC. Those included a magazine, movie productions, books and the right to be able to launch other TV shows under her production umbrella. At her 3.5-acre HARPO campus, all production for these shows would happen.
Then, Oprah and Jeffrey negotiated an ownership stake in King World Productions itself. Because of this deal, Oprah would get money off every show that was produced by King World and those included Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.
King World was bought by CBS in 1999 for $2.5 billion. When the acquisition was done, Oprah had 1% of all of CBS. Also, through a deal that she made with ABC in the mid 1990s, she had a chunk of Disney stock.
Through traditional contracts, her 1980s talk show contemporaries such as Phil Donahue, Sally Jesse Raphael, and Jerry Springer would go on to make tens of millions of dollars. However, Oprah would make multiple billions of dollars.
Below, you are able to see the net worth milestones of Oprah Winfrey.
- In 1985, her net worth was $500,000.
- In 1989, her net worth was $1,000,000.
- In 1995, her net worth was $500,000,000.
- In 2000, her net worth was $1,000,000,000.
- In 2007, her net worth was $2,000,000,000.
- In 2014, her net worth was $3,000,000,000.
- In 2019, her net worth was $3,100,000,000.
- In 2020, her net worth was $3,500,000,000.
In 1999/ 2000, Oprah Winfrey became a billionaire for the first time and she was America’s first black female billionaire. At that time, she could earn $300 million per year by producing her own show and also Dr. Phil’s and Rachel Ray’s shows. In America, Oprah Winfrey is the richest self-made woman.
Media Career of Oprah Winfrey
At WLAC-TV in Nashville, Oprah was the first black female news anchor. Also, she was the youngest anchor in the station’s history. A station in Baltimore namely WJZ hired Oprah when she was 22 years old. She was hired to co-anchor the six o’clock news. It was a coveted position.
Oprah Winfrey started co-hosting a talk show in August 1978 and the name of the talk show was People Are Talking. The nationally-syndicated Phil Donahue was beaten by her in the local Baltimore market in 1980. She earned $220,000 per year by the end of her Baltimore run. It is the same as around $560,000 today after it is adjusted for inflation.
Oprah was given her own 30-minute morning talk show in 1984 in Chicago. It was produced by a company named King World Productions. This company was also the production studio behind Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. This job was worth $1 million and the contract was for four years. After it is adjusted for inflation, $250k per year at that time is similar to around $600k today.
Other Projects of Oprah Winfrey
Since 2015, she has been a board member of Weight Watchers. She was given an award of $43.5 million worth of equity when she was brought to the company. The stake has grown to be more than $400 million.
Oprah Winfrey signed a multi year deal in 2019 with Apple. The deal was to produce shows for the tech giant.
There were a number of major films where she appeared including 1985’s “The Color Purple”, 1998’s “Beloved”, 2013’s “The Butler” and 2014’s “Selma”. Dozens of television shows, documentaries and miniseries have been produced by her.
In 2011, she got the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Academy Award. She also has won 18 Daytime Emmy Awards, two Primetime Emmys, a Tony Awards and one Golden Globe. Oprah was also nominated for two Academy Awards including one for Best Supporting Actress for “The Color Purple” and another as a producer for Best Picture for “Selma”.
Oprah Winfrey as A Philanthropy
More than $400 million has been given by Oprah to charity. Mostly, her charity focuses on educational causes. To Atlanta’s Morehouse College, she has paid for more than 400 scholarships. Oprah’s Angel Network was launched in 1998. It is a charity which supports nonprofits around the world. It has raised more than $80 million for a variety of organizations. Personally, she pays for 100% of the administrative costs of the Network so that 100% of all raised funds go to the nonprofits.
She built the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa in 2007. Until now, $40 million has been given personally by Oprah Winfrey. It is to fund the school. $11 million is collected by Oprah’s Angel Network for Hurricane Katrina relief and Oprah donated an additional $10 million.
To the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, she gave a donation $12 million in 2013. President Barack Obama gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the same year.