Oprah’s OWN Network still struggling despite $12M cash injection

(NNPA)—Oprah Winfrey’s Own Network may have received a hearty $12 million cash infusion from its parent company, Discovery Communications, but the former daytime queen’s channel is still struggling.

According to BET, OWN is struggling to make profits and the network’s newest shows, Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show and Oprah’s Life Class, are off to slow starts.


But Discovery CEO David Zaslav said he believes Winfrey’s installation as the network’s CEO will turn things around.

“We are working hard to develop content that will appeal to her audience,” Zaslav said. “We are building some meaningful audience growth and flow. Viewership is up from previous levels [and] there’s some nice momentum going into 2012…We are starting to swing in a positive direction in terms of getting people to spend more time with us.”

Winfrey launched OWN at the beginning of the year, but the network has struggled since its inception. According to The New York Times, OWN’s viewership in February fell from an average of 505,000 viewers to an average of 135,000. Winfrey stepped in as the CEO in July.

Prior to the launch of the network, Winfrey described the OWN programming as “mindful television.”

“I think so much of television is a minefield that just zaps your energy, wastes your time,” she told Parade magazine in 2010. “What I want to do is build a channel that is a respite for your mind, an oasis of stimulation, that you come away from with little pieces of light. I’m aiming for a moment where somebody could say, ‘I never thought of it that Way before.’ I just love that.”

(Reprinted from the Afro American.)

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