The Queen of Talk Shows – The Big O – hung up her stirrups last year and announced that she was launching THE OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK cable channel in conjunction with partners the Discovery Channel and Harpo Studios. Since its kick off and the appointment of Oprah herself as CEO last July, the channel has suffered from soft ratings and general poor performance.
It’s highest rated event – the Oprah Interview with Bobbi Christina (Whitney Houston’s daughter).
In recent weeks we’ve seen dramatic changes happening at OWN with THE ROSIE O’DONNELL SHOW cancelled, Dionne Warwick refusing an interview with Oprah herself, continual line up programming changes and now 30 more jobs have been slashed from the fledgling network.
In a statement addressing the 30 jobs losses Oprah said:
“It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives, but the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place. 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.” – the wrap.
As a part of this new restructure the network has set up the followiing (With thanks to Tim Molloy)
The restructuring includes Neal Kirsch, a long-time Discovery executive and chief financial officer of Discovery’s U.S. networks, moving to OWN in the role of chief operating officer and CFO. He will report to Logan and Salata. Also, Tina Perry, OWN’s vice president, business and legal affairs will now oversee the department and partner with Lee Bartlett, executive vice president of global production management, business and legal affairs at Discovery.
Michelle Holt, OWN’s vice president of production, will now oversee production management, and Ian Parmiter, senior vice president of marketing for Discovery ad sales, will now oversee integrated marketing for OWN.
Winfrey also claims the channel is now reaching around 40 million viewers a month.
So the question is – what does it need to kick? The answer – more Oprah in front of the camera.
Only time will tell if she will don the boards again in a serial magazine show.