Winfrey enters Ill. broadcasters' hall of fame

May 3, 2011 2:59:56 PM PDT
Oprah Winfrey was inducted into the Illinois Broadcasters Association's Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

There was a standing ovation at the hall of fame induction luncheon for the talk show queen, who is adding one more accomplishment to a long list of achievements.

"Oprah could have been inducted to the hall of fame 25 years ago when she started this. Her career is remarkable," said Dennis Lyle, president of the Illinois Broadcasters Association.

Winfrey's career brought her to Chicago in 1983 as the host of "A.M. Chicago" on WLS-TV, and it soared to unimagined heights as she launched her daytime talk show. It was a format to examine what she calls the "commonality in the human experience."

"Understanding that thread of commonality has been the source of my success, of my empathy, of my ability to communicate and connect," Winfrey said.

She also said her success is directly related to the City of Chicago and its people.

"On my way to the audition, just loving the vibe of the city so much, I felt that if I don't get the job, I've gotta find a way to get back here," Winfrey said.

Winfrey made a point of staying in Chicago for all 25 years of her show, which will sign off later this month; there are only 17 shows left of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Fellow broadcasters who have been influenced by her are already discussing her legacy.

"When you see someone who's come from where she's come to where she is today, it let's you know that anybody can do it if they're willing to put in the work," said Marv Dyson with Urban Radio Broadcasting, LLC.

"She helps you dream big, she makes you live a life without limitations, and as long as she lays the ground work,people can be inspired to be more and do more," said Melody Spann Cooper, the president of WVON.

Winfrey is the fifth woman to be inducted to the Illinois Broadcasters Association's Hall of Fame. She joins other notable broadcasters, such as Roger Ebert, Paul Harvey and Jack Brickhouse.

Her last show tapes May 17, and airs May 25.