Cover Story

Oprah Unbound
by Marcia Froelke Coburn
This January marks the 25th anniversary of Oprah Winfrey’s debut on Chicago television. Can $2.7 billion buy happiness?


Standing O
by Kelsey Peters and Jennifer Wehunt
Why do fans flock to Oprah? We polled the line outside Harpo Studios.

Bagging the Media Queen
by Josh Schollmeyer
For two years, Kitty Kelley, America’s most notorious celebrity biographer, has been tracking Oprah. The cat-and-mouse game promises to play out in an epic cultural showdown. 

Paying with the Past
by Gwenda Blair
Lawyers for victims of two 20th-century terrorist bombings are trying to force the sale of a cache of 2,500-year-old Persian tablets currently on loan to Chicago’s Oriental Institute. 

Tale of the Tape
by Lucinda Hahn
Amy Jacobson, the former Channel 5 news reporter, lost her job after a rival station aired footage of her in a bikini at the home of a source. Now she’s fighting for redemption. 


Page Two Chicago radicals rehabilitated; new Ayers book  Arts & Culture Three Scrooges walk into a bar, no joke; The Blip loves holiday sing-alongs; what would Mies do? the dilemma at Farnsworth House; no more Mr. Nice Guy for Claire Danes’s TV dad, Tom Irwin; our favorite toys—kid tested and parent approved; Anthony Terlato’s life in wine.  Plus: The dining department singles out the best cookbooks from 2008. Service Desk Holiday cookie party! We show you how to throw a great one. Plus: Doing it yourself—worth it? Style The 2008 Gift Guide: The weather outside may be frightful, but we have 39 gift suggestions for a holiday season oh-so-delightful.

Digging into mini foods; tea goes way upscale; the hottest spots right now; a quickie makeover, Gold Coast–style

by Sarah Preston
The sky’s the limit at River North’s high-flying new hot spot.

by Debra Pickett
Activists scuttled the Latin School’s deal for priority use of a new soccer field on public parkland. But, in the end, did anyone really win?

Deal Estate®
by Dennis Rodkin
Scott Skiles sells his North Shore home; new life for the Lake Shore Athletic Club; and more housing news

The Closer
by Jeff Ruby
If you’ve been thirsting for plagues, taxi driver stories, and miracle food in The Closer, you’re not alone.

Chicago Guide®
Getting into the heads of 500 Clown; Ned Flanders’s favorite Christmas carol; more

L2O joins the upper echelon; Aria enters two-star territory.