Oprah Named Kennedy Center Honoree

The Oprah victory tour--she launches her syndicated show's last season this month--has added one more plaudit. The veteran talk show host/actress/producer has been tapped to receive a Kennedy Center Honor at a ceremony that will be broadcast Dec. 28 on CBS.

The award goes to individuals who have "spent their lives enriching, inspiring and elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world," said Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein in announcing the honors, which also went to singer-songwriter Paul McCartney, country legend Merle Haggard, composer-lyricist Jerry Herman, and dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones.

"Winfrey has established one of the most innovative careers in the entertainment world, with distinctive accomplishments in television and film," said Rubenstein.

If past is prologue, Winfrey (along with the other winners) will be seated with friend and fellow Chicagoan President Barack Obama and First Lady Michele Obama at the awards gala.

The awards will actually be given out Dec. 4 at a State Department dinner, and the gala taped the following day at the Kennedy Center, followed by a dinner/dance in the grand foyer.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.