STACY STRAZIS is a 2011 Television Academy Honors Award Winner. This recognition is a highlight of her 11 years as a Producer for a global phenomenon – The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her television career also includes traveling the world as an acclaimed on-camera News and Sports Journalist. As a child, always curious about how others lived, Stacy loved watching World News and National Geographic programs. In second grade, a talk with her father about civil rights, cemented her interest in ways she could create a better world. Her grandfathers also planted seeds of inspiration. One helped liberate Paris during World War II, and the other worked with the first astronauts at NASA’s nearby Kennedy Space Center. Their stories nurtured Stacy’s visions of exploring, promoting peace, and engaging global connectedness. She constantly questioned, and questioned. Finally, her mother and a fifth grade teacher encouraged Stacy to put her passions on paper, and she soon won a county-wide writing contest. Since then, there has been no stopping her. At the heart of Stacy’s work is the African philosophy of “Ubuntu” – recognizing our shared humanity and empowerment by empowering others. Stacy’s professional and personal background continue to fuel her life-long dream and drive to tell compelling stories that transcend television and uplift the human experience.
From Mount Kilimanjaro to Moscow, Beijing to Bali, London to Los Angeles, Stacy has produced more than 6,000 hours of high-rated award-winning television. She has interviewed countless individuals from presidents to princes, world class athletes to A-list artists, and influential newsmakers to extraordinary, everyday people.
For 25 seasons, The Oprah Winfrey Show ranked the number one talk show in America, with an average weekly audience of 40 million in 215 U.S. markets, in addition to its worldwide distribution to 150 countries. In 2011, during the final historic season, Stacy co-produced, “Breaking News: Oprah Reveals a Hidden Family Secret,” the highest-rated episode in more than six years. She was one of only a handful of people Oprah trusted to hold a very personal secret. Stacy was mindfully chosen as the one Field Producer who would spend three days interviewing Oprah’s family and co-produce
the shocking story about her newly discovered half-sister.
Additionally, Stacy co-produced one of only eight programs in the U.S., selected in 2011, to receive a Television of Academy of Arts and Sciences “Honors Award” for “Television with a Conscience.” The two-part groundbreaking show, “200 Adult Men Who Were Molested Come Forward,” broke down decades of pain and shame for millions of men throughout the world. Oprah Winfrey told Barbara Walters in a primetime special, “I’ve never been prouder of myself and my team. I’ve never been prouder of the work.”
Stacy was consistently deemed a “standard setter” and an esteemed “go to” Field Producer at Harpo Studios - whether the subject was Oprah’s most private and personal story, an extremely delicate topic, a demanding world-famous guest, a challenging shoot requiring extensive development, or any critical breaking news. She was repeatedly selected to represent Oprah Winfrey on extremely coveted high-profile assignments around the world.
Stacy’s fearlessness and grasp of covering the ground during breaking news distinguished her to be called upon during this century’s landmark breaking news events. She was appointed as Oprah’s Lead Producer, managing Harpo’s first team to go into New Orleans during the fast-developing Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. Her instinctive and distinctive producing of Dr Oz’s special reports on the dead and dying garnered national media praise and initiated some of the first hard-hitting questions regarding FEMA’s mishandling of the disaster victims. Furthermore, Stacy was selected to join the special unit which produced Harpo’s 9/11 and war shows in 2001 and 2002. The impact of her team’s production of the episode “Is War The Only Answer?” was an achievement personally recognized and acknowledged by Nelson Mandela. Stacy has mastered the art of creating entertaining transformative television. Her compelling storytelling moved the needle forward on issues long after The Oprah Show credits rolled. While at Harpo, Stacy earned the reputation for identifying, researching, booking,
developing, writing and producing unforgettable stories that captured and celebrated the human spirit. Independently, Stacy tenaciously worked years digging and securing what would ultimately be the top story and segments featured in “The Dream Lives: A Martin Luther King Day Special.” Of The Oprah Show’s 4,561 episodes, this MLK Special became one of only five to go on sale as a DVD. From conception to completion, several of Stacy’s shows not only empowered her guests, but also inspired audiences to activism - advancing numerous causes: “Oprah Honors American Heroes: The Freedom Riders Reunite 50 Years Later” (civil rights, non-violent protests), “The Little Girl Found Living Like an Animal” (feral and foster children, child abuse), “A Suburban Mother’s Nightmare Captured on Tape” (domestic abuse), “When I Knew I Was Gay” (GLADD Media Award winner 2006), “Oprah’s Child Predator Watch List” (nine featured fugitives captured), among many other significant episodes… Stacy pitched and produced in Oprah’s 25th season – “American War Heroes: Why Are These Women Homeless?” – and drew the attention of the White House. The episode exposed, as never before, the alarming harsh reality for many women returning from military service. The disturbing reports in the show influenced improved policy changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Stacy’s team’s last contribution to The Oprah Show’s legacy was the poignant, show stopping, “The Men of Morehouse College” segment, in “Oprah’s Farewell Surprise Spectacular.” TIME Magazine called it “a truly moving moment that brought Oprah’s biggest tears of the night.”
What further sets Stacy apart are various intangibles such as her positive energy, passion, instinct, adaptability, and fresh perspective that she brings to each story, interviewee, and crew member. At Harpo, Stacy was respected for her repeated expertise in non-English speaking countries, intuitively grasping other cultures, and bringing back more-than-expected results, even when under firm restrictions and tight deadlines. Her directing in the field was distinguished for delivering stirring images in her signature style and quality. It was not unusual for Stacy to grab a camera herself, and climb a tree, or hop on the back of a Vespa, or get in the cockpit of a small plane, to get that one critical shot that would speak volumes.
In addition to producing and directing Oprah on location, outside of the studio, Stacy was regularly called upon to work with other TV professionals, such as Dr. Mehmet Oz, Lisa Ling, and Rachael Ray. Stacy was also tapped to coach potential new talent, and produce sizzle reels for shows under consideration for development by Harpo Studios.
Over her tenure at Harpo, Stacy wrote, produced, and supervised a wide range of “can’t-miss” pop culture moments. She has created shows involving investigations, documentaries, reality, surprises, interactive sets, contests, musical performances, fashion, cooking, fitness, makeovers, reunions, complex stunts, in-depth subject research, in addition to educational shows in the fields of finance, healthcare and history, just to name a few… Moreover, Stacy contributed to the development and execution of Oprah’s unique multi-platform integrated media, social action, and advocacy campaigns.
Prior to joining The Oprah Winfrey Show, Stacy worked as an On-Air Journalist, Talent and as a Producer for independent and global broadcast companies including NBC, CBS, FOX, Discovery Channel, Fox Sports, and ESPN. She began her television career in news, working as an award-winning News Anchor and Reporter in Florida’s number one market. Stacy earned the highest weekly newscast ratings in the state, often beating competing national network programming. She was one of the few American journalists to report live from London at Princess Diana’s funeral. An estimated 2.5 billion people, nearly half the people on earth at the time, watched the worldwide funeral coverage. It remains one of the most viewed events in history. Stacy’s career also includes teaching in Chicago’s public schools. On her own, Stacy created and developed a highly successful program, focused on character education and building confidence, and to make a difference, instructed new immigrant and inner-city students.
Stacy worked her way thru college to earn a degree in International Relations and Comparative Government at the University of Central Florida. Over the years, she has volunteered with orphanages in Haiti; rural education programs in Cambodia, Laos, Kenya and Tanzania; and with children’s cancer and art therapy programs in the United States. During her free time, Stacy enjoys reading, water sports, and most of all feeding her insatiable wanderlust with adventure and cultural travels. She’s journeyed to more than 40 countries. That number is most certainly to grow, as Stacy is happily infected by a travel bug for which there is no known antidote.