Back When Oprah Lived in Baltimore…

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Yesterday, Martha Stewart tweeted a 1982 picture of three big-haired ladies: Stewart, PR pro Susan Magrino, and a former Baltimore news anchor named Oprah Winfrey. This blast from the past made us nostalgic for Oprah’s Baltimore days.

When she started out as an anchor, Oprah did her own hair and makeup.
When she started out as an anchor, Oprah did her own hair and makeup.

When Oprah first started co-anchoring WJZ’s six-o’clock news program in 1976, the station promoted her with the tag line “What’s an Oprah?”. Just 22 years old, she struggled with the high-profile job–and a co-anchor who didn’t appreciate having to share the spotlight with a young woman. After a year she was fired…

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Only to be re-hired to run the new talk show, People Are Talking, co-hosted by veteran Baltimore reporter Richard Sher. That show was a hit–and the rest is history. For more on Oprah’s Baltimore days — including the one-woman show she put on at Goucher and the time she auditioned for a role at CenterStage (and was furious when she wasn’t cast!), check out these great Baltimore-Oprah histories from Baltimore Magazine and the Baltimore Sun.



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