USMagazine, Thursday, April 25, 2013, 5:45pm (PDT)
Chicago's Harpo Studios will always feel like home to Oprah Winfrey. The TV titan -- who taped 4,561 episodes of her daytime talk show at the space -- returned to her old stomping grounds to tape the Apr. 26 episode of Steve Harvey's syndicated talk show.
"Everybody thinks I left. I didn't really leave. I am between cities," explained Winfrey, who primarily resides in an $85 million mansion in Montecito, Calif. "I still have my business here in Chicago and I still have my apartment, so I'm back and forth all the time."
Many of The Oprah Winfrey Show's former staffers now work for Harvey, 56. "I walk in today, they're all in suits!" Winfrey said. "I go, 'What happened? Is there a suit rule around here?' You all didn't wear suits for me!"
All kidding aside, Winfrey said she missed being able to connect with viewers on a daily basis. "I got a little choked up seeing you guys today," she told the audience. "Because what I really miss is the camaraderie with the audience every day. So when I'm watching the show and the whole 'Ask Steve' segment and your ability to connect to the audience, I did that for 25 years."
"I wanted to keep rising, and to leave while I was still rising," Winfrey added. "When I look back at the body of work, those of you who watched us for years, it's astounding."
The 59-year-old, whose final episode aired in May 2011, launched OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network on Jan. 1, 2012. Several of the network's programs, including Oprah's Next Chapter and Iyanla Fix My Life, are produced by Harpo Studios.