Making Obama

WBEZ Chicago

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Former President Barack Obama — along with key advisers, mentors, and rivals — tells the story of his climb from Chicago to the national stage. Season One of Making told the story of how Oprah built a media empire. Now, the story of how Chicago shape...Show More

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Obama 1: The Man In The Background

45:36 | Feb 8th, 2018

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 ambitions.


0:00 | Nov 22nd, 2016

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 more difficult to top what yo...Show More

Ep 2: Skinheads And Scented Candles

0:00 | Nov 17th, 2016

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’s show often relied on sensati...Show More

Ep 1: No Strategy, No Plan, No Formula

0:00 | Nov 10th, 2016

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. alone. Today’s daytime hosts li...Show More

Preview: Public Official A

02:58 | Jan 11th

If you enjoyed listening to Making Obama, some folks here at WBEZ have another podcast for you. It’s also about politics, but this one is very different. Family drama, FBI wiretaps and -- ultimately -- a very long prison sentence dominate this story ...Show More

Preview: 16 Shots

04:22 | Aug 31st, 2018

Making Obama host Jenn White introduces a new podcast from WBEZ and The Chicago Tribune called 16 Shots. Almost four years ago, Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, was fatally shot by Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago Police officer. Police reported McD...Show More

Obama BONUS: The Decision

21:42 | Apr 10th, 2018

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

Obama 6: Yes We Can!

58:50 | Mar 15th, 2018

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

Obama 5: Up Or Out

55:39 | Mar 8th, 2018

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 Chicago. Support WBEZ and the future...Show More

Obama 4: Wait Your Turn

56:15 | Mar 1st, 2018

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

Obama 3: You Don’t Say No To Barack

56:46 | Feb 22nd, 2018

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 2: Chicago Politics Ain’t Beanbag

42:26 | Feb 15th, 2018

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

Preview: Making Obama

03:48 | Jan 19th, 2018

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.

BONUS: Making Donahue

0:00 | Dec 30th, 2016

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 for Oprah’s program. It tackled ...Show More

BONUS: Oprah Gets Political

0:00 | Dec 23rd, 2016

For more than 10 years after the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah deliberately avoided having politicians on her show, particularly during election seasons. In this bonus episode of Making Oprah, host Jenn White talks to Oprah about the role p...Show More

BONUS: Let's Talk About Oprah's Hair

0:00 | Dec 16th, 2016

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 Andre Walker about the high st...Show More

Preview WBEZ’s New Podcast About The Oprah Winfrey Show

0:00 | Nov 3rd, 2016

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 debut of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Be the first to hear a sneak peek of WBEZ’s three-part series featu...Show More