Oprah Radio is a talk radio channel programmed by Harpo Productions' radio division, and is signed exclusively for XM Satellite Radio. Oprah Radio includes regular programming on topics such as current events, self-improvement, health, nutrition, fitness and home. Friends and contributors include: Gayle King, Dr. Robin Smith, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Marianne Williamson, Bob Greene, and Nate Berkus. On July 17, 2006, a preview loop of the channel began to air. The channel officially launched on September 25, 2006.
It was announced in June 2006 that former Clear Channel Communications regional VP John Gehron will act as general manager for Harpo Radio, Inc. On July 20, Laurie Cantillo was appointed program director of Harpo Radio. Cantillo had program director experience at stations including KFYI, KTAR, and KGME. A week later, more staff was hired for the channel, including Corny Koehl (director of development), John St. Augustine, Katherine Kelly and Rita Coburn Whack (producers).
In September 2007, Oprah and Friends was added to the DirecTV lineup on channel 807. Following the Sirius / XM merger, Oprah & Friends was added to Sirius on September 30, 2008 as part of its "Best of XM" package and broadcast on channel 195 (it moved to channel 204 on May 4, 2011). On November 12, 2008, Oprah and Friends was removed from the DirecTV lineup.
In November 2008, John Gehron and Laurie Cantillo exited their positions at Oprah & Friends. Corny Koehl was named Executive Producer of the channel in charge of the creative side and Katherine Kelly was named Operations Manager handling the day to day workings of the channel.
On March 4, 2009, Oprah and Friends was renamed and rebranded as Oprah Radio.
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“Having a thirteen-year-old in the family is like having a general-admission ticket to the movies, radio and TV. You get to understand that the glittering new arts of our civilization are directed to the teen-agers, and by their suffrage they stand or fall.”
—Max Lerner (b. 1902)