Winfrey, supervising producer and host of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," is internationally renowned for creating quality programming and connecting with her viewers. As the world's most widely watched daytime television program, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" is broadcast in more than 100 countries. Through her Chicago-based company, Harpo, Inc. and her philanthropic initiatives, she has helped millions worldwide and raised awareness for a multitude of humanitarian causes, including education, AIDS and poverty.
"The Academy presents the Founders Award to an individual or organization which crosses cultural boundaries to touch our common humanity," said Bruce Paisner, who is also president of Hearst Entertainment. "This definition, though composed more than 25 years ago, seems to have been written with Oprah Winfrey in mind. Not only is she a beloved figure in television around the world, but she continually uses her great celebrity to help the less fortunate in our society and to shine a light on solvable human problems. We are proud to honor her."
Winfrey has entertained, enlightened and uplifted millions of viewers globally for two decades through "The Oprah Winfrey Show," the highest rated talk show in television history. She and her program have received the industry's most prestigious acknowledgements, including 39 Daytime Emmy Awards(R), a George Foster Peabody Award (1995), and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Lifetime Achievement Award (1998). Through Harpo Films, as part of a long-term deal with ABC Television Network, she produces "Oprah Winfrey Presents" telefilms, which have garnered top acting and production honors. She also is a co-founder of Oxygen Media, which operates a 24-hour cable television network for women that launched in 1998 and is currently available in more than 54 million homes across America.
Over the years, her endeavors have extended beyond the realm of television. In 2000, she launched O, The Oprah Magazine, a monthly magazine that has become one of today's leading U.S. women's lifestyle publications. In 2002, she brought her "Live Your Best Life" message to a broader audience with the first international edition of the magazine in South Africa.
Through her private charity, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, which supports the education and empowerment of women, children and families in the United States and around the world, she has developed schools for thousands of underserved children internationally. Her foundation currently is building the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls - South Africa, which will open in 2007. She also formed Oprah's Angel Network, a public charity established in 1998, from an initiative on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to encourage people around the world to use their lives to make a difference in the lives of others. Her accomplishments as a television pioneer, actress, film producer, editorial director and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired public figures today.
Founded in 1969, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is the largest organization of global broadcasters in the world, with members from nearly 70 countries and over 350 companies. The Academy was chartered with a mission to recognize excellence in television programming produced outside of the United States, and it presents the International Emmy Award to programs in 11 categories: Arts Programming; Best Performance by an Actor; Best Performance by an Actress; Breaking News; Children & Young People; Comedy; Continuing News Coverage; Documentary; Drama Series; Non-Scripted Entertainment; TV Movie/Mini-Series.
The Academy is a unique, independent organization including the world's top television and media leaders who come together to exchange ideas, discuss common issues and promote new strategies for the future development of quality global television programming. Each year, the Academy produces the iEMMYs Festival and the International Emmy Awards Gala in New York City. The iEMMYs Festival screens top programming from around the world, featuring world-class producers and directors who speak about their work. The International Emmy Awards Gala attracts over 1,000 international figures in broadcast, entertainment and media. Additionally, the Academy's Foundation oversees a number of professional educational programs about the global television industry including workshops, panel discussions and fellowship programs rewarding young talent from outside the U.S. More information can be found online at www.iemmys.tv.