accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Former Star 94’s Tommy Sullivan at Oprah Winfrey’s final show

tom sullivanFor years, former Star 94 jock Tommy Sullivan tried to get on “Survivor” to no avail.

But he applied to be in the audience of Oprah’s final show, which airs today at 4 p.m on WSB-TV locally and was taped yesterday.  He was chosen to be part of an audience of just a few hundred due to his heartfelt essay on what Oprah meant to him.

“It was a dream of a lifetime,” he said today while checking out of his hotel in Chicago. “I love Oprah’s light and the healing she brings.”

He brought his friend and publicist Toren Anderson for the ride.

“It was the hottest ticket in TV history,” Anderson said, in publicist’s fashion. But she probably wasn’t far from the truth.

Anderson said Oprah had in many ways already moved on. “She was regal, a little detached,” she said, as Oprah discussed what the show meant to her. “It was very low key to the point of almost feeling like a funeral,” Anderson added. But at the same time, “it was amazing to be there.”

Sullivan said it seemed like Oprah was “mentally and physically checked out” after all the build-up. “She’s ready to move on.”

Sullivan was so spirited during the pre-show that the audience coordinator Sally Lou Loveman invited him on stage and he pepped up the crowd like the great host he can be. (He even wore a green grass shirt, Oprah’s favorite color.)

Anderson got to speak at one point before the show started about how Oprah changed her life. She recalls Maria Shriver looking at her and giving her the love sign and thanks.

Notably, the audience’s prize was simply being there. There were no free cars or free trips for this crowd.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

19 comments Add your comment

CJ

May 25th, 2011
4:19 pm

Watching her 3rd and 2nd to last shows, it was really nice to see her honored, but it was over the top. What I like most about Oprah is that she had all odds against her and made a great career for herself. I think that the parade of super stars shows how detached from reality she is.

I met her 2 years ago and found her to be a really nice person in conversation. I think that when she is off camera, she settles down and can better relate to people. On camera, though, she seems like she is on a different level of living than the rest of us. All of the praise on her recent shows makes her seem like the final miracle needed to make John Paul a saint, so I think it was too much.

Debra Swiggum

May 25th, 2011
11:18 pm

I attended the taping of Oprah’s last show and agree that it was somewhat of a somber show, but I was still excited to be there after so many years of trying to get tickets. She did what she does best which is to energize and motivate people to set goals, believe in themselves, and never give up on their dreams. She changed a lot of lives in 25 years and will continue to do so in the next chapter of her career.

Mr. Smarty Pants by Gum

May 25th, 2011
11:43 pm

Good Gawd Man, Oprah is the fakest of all fakes. I haven’t seen a show for years but caught one last week. She has to be one of the most insincere people on the face of the planet. She ask a pointless question and immediately starts making eyes at the camera without listening for one second to her guest answers. If you buy her stuff I have beachfront property in Ohio to sell you.

Toren Anderson

May 26th, 2011
12:37 am

I was glad to be there to speak to the audience and Harpo staffers to say the level of excellence they walked in was impacting and to wish them well in their future endeavors. I was somber b/c of many lives of Harpo staffers changing after that show. In the recession, it’s a sensitive time to see people lose work. Many were not sure what was going to happen. I encouraged them to know that the best can be yet to come. Even Maria Shriver appreciated hearing that. We all need to hear that.
I can understand the question of sincerity, she did not acknowledge us really and the prompter just kept rolling. The lack of commemorative token of this amazing milestone was a shocker. Just not the way to send people out. Not a car, but a little something. I really think they dropped the ball on their last audience in that department. If an audience ever needed consoling, it was us. We went through so much range of emotion during the 3+ hours there. It was intense indeed. Yes exciting, I am grateful but whew that was like a pin in a balloon we had used as a toy by the end of show.
No easy way to transition us to the void. We were so blessed to have that caliber of show in our lives. She raised the bar so high & “outed” all the stuff in life that “fine people” didn’t want to talk about. Her show did it in the most dignified way. That needed to happen and she was right, she did what she was supposed to do. She opened dialog and made things happen in lives for the better. She was/is a conduit, I hope the discussions, awareness and community continue.
My big lesson there yesterday: It’s about me, not Oprah. Living forward this day on.

The women I met at the pre-show were amazing people. I would welcome them as friends. Much to process and a lot of excitement! Glad to be back in Atlanta!

rod

May 26th, 2011
6:10 am

Dear God she is a tv talk show host that is a billionaire ultra left wing person. Did she heal the sick or walk on water during her last show. Oprah did a nice job intervieiwing folks on her show. It is amazing how millions of women thought it was Elvis reincarnated.

Meredith

May 26th, 2011
8:32 am

Gee, Toren, I am sure Maria Shriver and Harpo staffers all feel so much better about their lives because YOU were there to encourage them. Looks like you and Oprah share the same ego.

WHY??????

May 26th, 2011
8:55 am

And let the obvious envy and “hating” begin…..

whatdoiknow

May 26th, 2011
11:59 am

Toren Anderson

May 26th, 2011
3:02 pm

Hey Meredith. We are all entitled to believe and glean how we choose. It was not ego at all. But stepping out to care about soon-to-be-unemployed staffers and given the opportunity to validate them took, well nerve. It was something I had to just DO, not for any other reason that to encourage people on the verge of something pretty scary. Losing a gig like that must be intense. I had crew people and even producers say the words meant a lot. Try not to be so sure you are right Meredith. In this case, you don’t know me and are missing it.
To see Maria Shriver being encouraged was an encouragement to me. It’s called putting it out there, and yes it did make a difference. She is just a person going through a betrayal many of us have endured and being told the best is yet to come is important. I am an encourager, I know my role stepped up and did it.
And the ME meant that we can move forward, make a difference and it does not have to be mediated by Oprah. Not meant in an egotistical way at all, that was meant that we all can take ourselves to live forward and make life better. Starting with us. Thankful for the people that are not jaded in this world, that does not bring life to anyone.

janyce lovello

May 26th, 2011
4:28 pm

I am amazed at the amount of hatred for someone you do not know or have met.You need to look in the mirror.Just as i thought….You didn’t like what you saw.Move on and shut the hell up

Stephanie

May 26th, 2011
4:56 pm

I have known Toren personally for about 14 years. She is an encourager all over the city, to ALL kinds of people, she is a giver and would have gone there to do that regardless of Oprah or not. She has compassion and teaches it to her children. Like I have never seen.

Meredith sounds awfully bitter and should watch the finale over and over. “You get what you give. Whatever you do to others you have already done to yourself.” Wisdom comes from a lot of places and goodness lives in those that care about others. This kind of nasty post is a drag to everyone reading. Gross. Really gross. That is too bad. Don’t wonder too long when good things don’t come your way when you are so arrogant and sure you are right about situations and strangers.
Not putting my last name only because that post is so toxic.

danielle

May 26th, 2011
5:23 pm

Meredith, Stephanie, and Toren;

What happens sometimes in email communication is terrible misunderstandings. Written words can not always convey the meaning behind the words we write. Sometimes we need to hear the inflection in people’s voices and see their facial movements to pick up the true meaning behind their words. I think this is the case between you ladies….just a terrible misunderstanding.

Toren I am glad you got to share the love you have for people during Oprah’s last show! It is so important to give love to others whenever you can. You have a special heart and I hope you will continue to give the love you have to others!

Meredith, every one is entitled to have their own opinion about things, but I have learned to not judge a situation too quickly. It takes a lot of guts to state your opinions on an opened forum. I hope you will continue to show your unwavering bravery and remember to always keep an opened heart!

Stephanie, I wish I had a friend like you to stand up for me. You seem like a very loyal friend, and I know your friends are blessed to have you in their lifes! I hope your friends are as loyal to you as you are to them!

Blessing and peace to you all!

Stay in the positive,

Danielle

Pago Flyer

May 26th, 2011
6:18 pm

Who are these poor white women going to worship now?
At the beginning of the telecast those women were told to stand, yell, clap and cheer when”her royal highness” entered the studio.
If they didn’t, they re-do the opening.

Stephanie

May 26th, 2011
6:37 pm

Wow Danielle, Rare for someone to offer positive support these days. Good for you. And yes indeed Toren goes out of her way to help people like no one I have ever seen. She stops to help people on the street whenever she sees them, serves the poor, is always there for her friends and her FB wall is a forum for people to get filled back up after life tears them down. She loves her friend Tom and was so happy for him to have that Oprah moment, she said that was worth the trip alone. It took guts for her to say what she said. She was bearing a burden. Moving forward I hope she realizes it’s her calling to keep that up. Blessings Danielle. You have learned a lot in relationships, so being patient and not negative is so important. Good for you. – Steph

Melanie

May 27th, 2011
11:02 am

I wish the article would have said what Tom Sullivan is up to these days. Loved him on Star94 and his brief visits at 98.5 when Steve & Vicki moved there. He has a great radio personality. So, where is he and what is he up to professionally? Anyone know?

danielle

May 27th, 2011
11:29 am

Thank you Stephanie…I can use all of God’s blessings!

Tim James

May 27th, 2011
10:29 pm

Remember back in the day when Oprah would turn in great performances in movies like The Color Purple and Women of Brewster’s Place? I hope Oprah turns her back on interviewing and returns in really challenging acting roles. That would be great.

Toren Anderson

May 28th, 2011
1:43 am

Hey Melanie, Tom is Atlanta’s Host now, and so good at it. He is very busy doing corporate and charity events, has a blog and has production projects. You can see his site @tomonair.com
He is so funny, the best part of the trip was to see him on Oprah’s stage dancing, chatting and just being himself. The man never ceases to not amuse me. I will tell him you asked.

Melanie

June 1st, 2011
6:12 pm

Thanks Toren for the update! I have bookmarked his site. I love his witty personality.