An open letter to Rosie O'Donnell: You failed, not Chicago!

Dear Rosie,

How are you doing? I hope well. Sorry to interrupt your busy day; however, I had a few things I wanted to say to you.

First and foremost, I moved to the Chicago area on January 1, 2011. It took me forever to get settled in. It is not an easy task to pick-up and start over. Of course, I figure it was easier for you because you came here with a job. Also, you have lots more money than I do, so it took you no time to go out and explore Chicago. I had to find a job, save up money, and then start exploring, but I digress...

Remember when you were loving Chicago those first few days? Remember when you were interviewed for the Chicago Sun-Times?

“I think it’s going to work, and I think I’d like to live in Chicago. It seems as though so many things are falling into place synchronicity-wise. I think chapter two will be in Chicago.”

Do you remember saying those things?

I am sure you do. I am sure you were excited to live in The Windy City. After all, Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the United States. That is nothing to laugh at, and speaking of laughing, we are home to so many comedy-related events.

Remember, when you use to be funny?

Those were the good ole days.

So, like you, I thought I would love Chicago also. The difference in us though is that I did fall in love with the city. I love the people, the atmosphere, the vast amount of things to do, and even the food.

You, on the other hand, are folding in the towel after five months. Your staff seems to think it is because you have a hard time getting celebrities to fly into Chicago.

I find that hard to believe. We have tons of stuff to do, two huge airports, and, psst, Oprah never had any trouble getting people to fly into Chicago.

Plus, you cannot really judge a city after living here for only five months.

I understand that you want to move back to New York. I even understand that you want to take your show with you for the small amount of time it is left on the air.

However, please do us all a favor. Please, please, please stand up for Chicago. Do not blame Chicago because you cannot run a successful show.

Do not blame the people of Chicago because you cannot get celebrities to visit your show. Maybe they do not want to visit your show because you get less than 250,000 viewers a night.

Maybe they just do not like you because not that long ago you had a psycho-crazy-militant personality. I do not judge you for it, but others might.

The only thing I want for you is for you to be happy.

The only request I have from you is that even though it was not for you, do not let "insiders" in your staff blame Chicago for your failure.

Be an adult and stand up for a city that rallied around you when you moved here.

Quit throwing our great city under the bus so that you can save face with your fan, or fans if there is more than one.

Other than dissing our great city, I have no issue with you. Take your show to New York and have fun with it. However, acknowledge that you, not Chicago, are the failure in this. We only failed in thinking you were moving here because you wanted to try it, and not because you needed a scapegoat when you proved unpopular.

Much Love,


Leave a comment
  • She's going to eat this letter. With ketchup.

  • What about all the Harpo staff are they now out of a job? What about the huge Harpo studio? Who will film there now?

    We will miss you Rosie, you should have stayed at least a year.

  • I don't think she is blaming Chicago, but it is, as you indicate, that she has a show that no one wants to watch. It probably isn't going to be any better in New York, unless she is like Letterman or Fallon and has to book guests there.

    Not to mention, who watches OWN?

    Heck, it isn't even like Jerry and Steve, who have strange audiences, but NBC-Universal moved their shows for tax reasons.

    And, of course, Yoga Mom is correct about the staff. They supposedly got their 60 day WARN Act notices.

  • In reply to jack:

    Who watches OWN? I don't even get OWN on my Comcast package (it used to be called extended basic).

  • The Harpo people were being re-deployed more than two years before Oprah made her big "announcement". She made sure that most of them would be working on other projects or at least would move to other projects by the time the show closed. (Inside knowledge. Don't ask.)

  • I'm kind of wonder when she used to be funny? When was that, anyway?

  • Rosie? Rosie who?

  • you couldnt be more off base with this. First, nobody from Rosie's camp has stated she is leaving. Only the media is saying that. However, if she does-- she never once blamed the people of Chicago. How many other talk shows that are celebrity based are in Chicago? Oprah is WAY different. She was the #1 talk show for MANY years and she was syndicated all over the world.
    Rosie's show is on a struggling network to begin with so people are acting like guests should be FLOCKING to be on a talk show and take time out of their schedules to be on a show that is on a network that doesnt do well to begin with.
    Look at shows like Wendy Williams. She IS syndicated and cant score HUGE guests. Celebs want to promote on shows that is going to get the word out to the most people.
    Let's also not forget---Rosie isn't from Chicago and her life isn't here. She has chilrdren who go to school in New York, where she is from. SO to compare her to others and act like she doesnt like chicago and that's why she is leaving is absurd.

    She can still love the city but do what is best for the show and her career.
    Your entire article is based on hearsay and is just plain wrong. I suggest people get their facts straight before they run their mouths on things they have no idea about.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to magicmike:

    I agree 100% with you Mike, people jump on the bandwagon to attack celebrities exp Rosie without knowing all the facts. If anyone is to blame its the network not Rosie

  • I was an audience member the first week Rosie aired. I have to say I was somewhat disappointed with the show. Rosie didn't seem connected with her audience. I thought it might be growing pains so I continued to watch the show. After a week, I stopped watching.

    I have heard Rosie say that she doesn't like the "Queen of nice" label. Well, my advise is to tone it down (it was like a scream fest) and draw a little more from the old days. That's what your audience wants. If you can't or won't deliver, please consider doing something else.

    Good luck on your move back to NYC.

    Kind regards from a Chicago lady

  • fb_avatar

    I am totally shaking my head at this "open" letter to Rosie. Rosie is not blaming anyone. She has not even for sure confirmed the move and her publicist has stated the show is still remaining in Chicago for the time being. Rosie has said that she loves Chicago, she only sold her home cause she didn't need such a big space when her kids were only visiting on the weekends. GIVE HER A BREAK. the network is the failure not Rosie. Every show (even the beloved Oprah - that you mentioned got guest so easily) is having rating failure on this network. No one gets the network anywhere, if Rosie was on NBC she would be doing just fine as she did when she had her own show or when the ratings sky rocketed through the roof when she was on the View, both networks with great a great audience. If there has to be blame placed, lets not place it on the city nor Rosie as both tried on a NETWORK that is failing and not getting its footing. Rosie did her best, trying every capacity that she had possible. So I say let's not be mean to her even if she takes it to a different city, she is just trying to save a much failing network by hoping the move to New York (if and when she goes) will help.

Leave a comment