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Making

20 EpisodesProduced by WBEZ ChicagoWebsite

WBEZ's critically-acclaimed bio-podcast series explores how an icon is made.

20 Episodes | 2016 - 2020

Oprah: Preview of Making Oprah

November 3rd, 2016

4:42

Making Oprah: The Inside Story of a TV Revolution is a public radio podcast -- about a daytime talk show. This fall marks 30 years since the national …

Oprah 1: No Strategy, No Plan, No Formula

November 10th, 2016

57:33

It was 30 years ago this fall that Oprah Winfrey first said “hellooooo” to a national audience. By the show’s finale in 2011, it was aired in 145 countries and watched by more than 40 million viewers a week in the U.S. …

Oprah 2: Skinheads And Scented Candles

November 17th, 2016

1:00:30

In the second episode of Making Oprah, we explore how The Oprah Winfrey Show elevated itself out of the heap of trash TV and into a show that intentionally embraced spirituality and positivity. 

The early years of …

Oprah 3: YOU GET A CAR!

November 22nd, 2016

1:02:21

In the show’s final decade, Oprah and her team staged massive spectacles of increasing grandiosity, from the infamous car giveaway to a 21,000-person flash mob that shut down part of Chicago. 

“It had become increasingly …

Oprah BONUS: Let's Talk About Oprah's Hair

December 16th, 2016

13:41

If you look at any image from the Oprah Winfrey Show, you can pretty much figure out what decade it’s from by looking at Oprah’s hairstyle. 

In this short bonus episode, host Jenn White talks to Oprah’s longtime stylist …

Oprah BONUS: Oprah Gets Political

December 23rd, 2016

21:38

For more than 10 years after the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah deliberately avoided having politicians on her show, particularly during …

Oprah BONUS: Making Donahue

December 30th, 2016

40:00

In our final bonus installment, the Making Oprah production team revisits an extended interview with daytime talk show legend Phil Donahue. His pioneering show, Donahue, aired from 1967 to 1996 and laid the groundwork …

Obama: Preview of Making Obama

January 19th, 2018

3:48

Former President Barack Obama — along with friends, mentors, and rivals — tells the story of his climb from Chicago to the national stage. Subscribe now and don’t miss the first episode on February 8.

Obama 1: The Man In The Background

February 8th, 2018

45:36

Before he was the 44th President, Barack Obama worked as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. Hear how the city shaped his political …

Obama 2: Chicago Politics Ain’t Beanbag

February 15th, 2018

42:26

When Barack Obama first came to Chicago, a political transformation was happening in the city. Hear how that change inspired him.



Obama 3: You Don’t Say No To Barack

February 22nd, 2018

56:46

Former President Barack Obama won his first political seat in 1996. Hear what he had to learn, and the conflicts he faced, to get there. 

Obama 4: Wait Your Turn

March 1st, 2018

56:15

In 2000, Barack Obama ran for Congress against a Chicago political legend. It became a contest about race and identity.

Obama 5: Up Or Out

March 8th, 2018

55:39

Former president Barack Obama has only lost one election in his life. It was in 2000, and that defeat set him on the course for his eventual U.S. Senate run. Making Obama is a production of listener-supported WBEZ …

Obama 6: Yes We Can!

March 15th, 2018

58:50

Barack Obama burst onto the national stage during his U.S. Senate run. Hear how ambition and luck propelled him to Washington.

wbez.org/making

Obama BONUS: The Decision

April 10th, 2018

21:42

Just two and a half years after his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, Barack Obama announced he was running for president.


Trailer: Making Beyoncé

November 1st, 2019

1:30

From the makers of Making Obama, WBEZ Chicago presents Making Beyoncé, a new three-part bio-podcast series that explores Beyoncé Knowles’ rise from local talent shows to global musical icon. 

Find episodes of Making …

Beyoncé 1: Girls Tyme

November 15th, 2019

47:06

Before the Grammys, before the platinum records, before Destiny’s Child, there was just a shy girl growing up in Houston. We follow Beyoncé Knowles …

Beyoncé 2: Star Search

November 22nd, 2019

37:10

After failing to secure a record deal, Beyoncé and the members of Girls Tyme try another avenue to success: a TV talent competition. The girls are poised and ready for the national spotlight, but tensions in the group …

Beyoncé 3: Destiny Begins

November 27th, 2019

33:41

After Girls Tyme dissolves, Beyoncé and the other girls begin building their new group, Destiny’s Child. Finally, things start to click.

Beyoncé BONUS: Fearlessly Herself

March 6th, 2020

32:36

In the lead up to Beyoncé's solo album debut, Dangerously in Love, a lot was at stake. She was hoping to break out not only as a solo artist, but as …

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