Logo

Oprah Winfrey Network lays off one-fifth of staff

Post By RelatedRelated Post

 

 

Oprah Winfrey’s struggling television network, OWN, said Monday it is laying off one-fifth of its workers and restructuring its operations in New York and Los Angeles.

The decision to let 30 employees go is a “tough” one, but the economics of a start-up cable network didn’t fit with OWN’s cost structure, Winfrey said in a statement.

“As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step,” Winfrey said.

The responsibilities of the laid-off workers will be distributed among people with the network and its venture partners, Discovery Communications and Winfrey’s Harpo Studios, according to OWN.

The cable channel, which launched Jan. 1, 2011, endured a freshman year of executive turnover and missteps that proved OWN lacked a solid foundation on which to build. This was despite a Discovery Communications investment of a reported $250 million and counting.

Discovery executives will take a more active role in the channel, according to the announcement.

Neal Kirsch, chief financial officer of Discovery’s U.S. networks, will move to OWN as the chief financial officer and chief operating officer, reporting to OWN presidents Erik Logan and Sheri Salata.

John MacDonald had decided to exit as OWN’s COO, Logan said

Another Discovery executive, Lee Bartlett, will have joint oversight of business and legal affairs with an OWN vice president, Tina Perry.

OWN started as an ambitious new platform for Winfrey after she stepped away from her long-running, top-rated daytime talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” But viewership for OWN shows have been largely unimpressive, with one example being a short-lived Rosie O’Donnell talk show that was cancelled last week.

OWN got a burst of viewer attention this month for Winfrey’s exclusive interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, which drew 3.5 million viewers, the channel’s biggest audience to date.

From the start, OWN failed to improve on, or in some instances even match, the modest ratings and small audience earned by the low-profile Discovery Health channel it replaced.

As the new channel struggled for footing, Winfrey stepped in behind the scenes and became CEO and chief creative officer of OWN, bringing in her Harpo leadership team of Logan and Salata as presidents. She also increased her on-camera profile with “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”

“I would absolutely say it is and was not where I want it to be for year one,” Winfrey said in December. “My focus up until (last) May was doing what I do best, which is ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show,’ and giving that my full attention” until its conclusion.

Since September, according to OWN, it’s seen a double-digit increase in ratings and a network high cumulative of 40 million viewers per month.

“We’re very bullish on the evolution of our network,” Logan said Monday.

The channel is banking on a boost from the second-season returns of “Oprah’s Life Class” and the reality series “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.”

There are no immediate plans to launch a talk show with a new host to replace O’Donnell, he said.

via Oprah Winfrey Network lays off one-fifth of staff – Yahoo! News.

blacklikemoi

3 Comment

  1. OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK AKA. OWN DID NOT AND HAVE NOT RECEIVE THE RATING THAT SHE EXPECTED,WOW I WONDER WHY IAM NOT SURPRISE TO HEAR THAT” I FEEL THAT HER SHOW WAS ONLY A PAST OPRAH WINFREY SHOW WAS ONLY A TOP RATED SHOW FOR ITS YEAR’S OF RUN IS SIMPLY BECAUSE OF HER MOSTLY ALL WHITE ORDERANCE THAT SHE CATER TOO,BUT SHE STARTED TO LOOSE GROUND ON THE RATING WHEN SHE ENDORSED BARACK OMBAMA FOR PRESIDENT, AND WHICH SHE SEEMS DISAPPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT PAST ACTIONS IN TE PAST ALMOST FOUR YEARS,WELL OPRAH” IT’S TIME TO COME BACK TO EARTH” THIS IS THE REAL WORLD!!

  2. Have you ever considered about including a bit bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is critical and all. Nonetheless feel of in the event you added some excellent visuals or video clips to give your posts more,

  3. I entirely realize what you might have explained. Really, I browsed throughout your several other content material articles and I do believe you’re completely correct. Congrats with this certain weblog.

Leave a Comment

Email (will not be published)