Longtime Oprah Winfrey Insider Leaves Company

Feb 12, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A longtime member of Oprah Winfrey’s inner circle has been let go, Deadline.com reports. After spending 18 years at Harpo Films, Kate Forte was let go Monday from her position as president, according to the report.

Forte’s departure comes as Harpo Films, whose business model has emphasized TV movies, is essentially shutting down, the story notes.

“While the company continues to have a couple of projects in development at HBO where the company has been under a deal since 2008, Harpo Films has little to show for its efforts in the past 5 years as its last projects to reach fruition were the 2007 movie ‘The Great Debaters,’ one of only two features produced by the unit, and 2007 ABC telefilm ‘Mitch Albom’s For One More Day,’” the report says.

The piece adds: “Harpo Films is a vestige of old times — it was active in the broadcast movie business, doing six films for ABC between 1997 and 2007. But the demand for long-form projects, especially on the broadcast side, has dried out. And now the Los Angeles-based Harpo Films will de facto fold. As part of a restructuring, its larger sibling production company, Chicago-based Harpo Studios, overseen by OWN presidents Erik Logan and Sheri Salata, is launching a scripted division, which is expected to absorb some of the staff of Harpo Films.”

Forte’s departure comes about a year after another member of Winfrey’s inner circle, Lisa Erspamer, was let go following a 15-year stint, the story adds.

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