Oprah Winfrey is selling Harpo Studios in Chicago to a developer, but the operation will remain on the property for another two years. Winfrey taped The Oprah Winfrey Show at the studio from 1990 to 2011, when she ended the talk show to start the Oprah Winfrey Network on cable.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Oprah Winfrey’s cable channel has struck a distribution deal with Comcast Corp., lifting the number of homes in which the network can be seen, according to people familiar with the situation. Wall Street Journal subscribers can read the story here.
Oprah Winfrey’s fledgling OWN cable channel saw a 21% rise in total daily viewers in the first quarter of 2012, as the talk show queen’s decision to put more of herself on the network began to pay off.
The Oprah Winfrey Network could lose an estimated $142.9 million this year, which could prompt co-owner Discovery to pull the plug on the venture, research and investment firm SNL Kagan said Wednesday.
Winfrey said in a statement Monday that the decision is a “tough” one. She says the economics of a startup cable network didn’t fit with OWN’s cost structure.
Oprah Winfrey issued a public apology on Monday for sending a controversial tweet on Sunday night. As the Grammys took many viewers over to CBS on Sunday, Oprah took to Twitter to ask people to tune into her cable network, OWN — “especially if you have a Nielsen box.”
The cable channel, which marks its first year Jan. 1, is trying for a fresh start after executive turnover and missteps that proved OWN lacked a solid foundation on which to build, this despite a Discovery Communications investment of a reported $250 million and counting. Winfrey, who said management team errors in planning and execution could serve as a cautionary tale, rejects the idea that a single year’s performance will determine OWN’s ultimate fate. Or hers.
The cable channel, which marks its first year Jan. 1, is trying for a fresh start after executive turnover and missteps that proved OWN lacked a solid foundation on which to build, this despite a Discovery Communications investment of a reported $250 million and counting.
Oprah Winfrey, TV’s greatest hit-maker, is counting on Rosie O’Donnell to save her struggling cable network. OWN — which launched New Year’s Day to un-Oprah-like ratings — has already burned through more than $150 million in start-up money without producing a single hit show. The irony of history’s most-successful talker looking to a former rival to save her network may be the biggest story of the upcoming fall season.
Chalk up two more gut- punches for Oprah Winfrey and her fledgling OWN cable network. Following news that Jenny McCarthy has taken her planned Harpo-produced talk show elsewhere — possibly to NBC — comes word that oprah.com, Winfrey’s main contribution to OWN, has lost half its readership since her syndicated Oprah left the air in May.
She also adds chief creative officer of the cable network to her previous role of chairman. Harpo Studios’ Erik Logan and Sheri Salata are named presidents.
Ratings for Oprah Winfrey’s fledgling cable network have fallen short of the levels promised to advertisers by nearly a third. OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, which is aimed at women 25 to 54 years old, has averaged a 0.1 rating on a total-day basis — well below the 0.3 rating network execs expected, sources say. As a result, OWN has had to offer make-goods to compensate marketers for the shortfall.
The Oprah Winfrey Network launched on Jan. 1, taking over what had been Discovery Health. As OWN was under development, Winfrey said she was also trying to finish the last 130 episodes of her syndicated TV talk show, the last episode of which aired on May 25. “I now have the time to be committed to the nurturing of this network,” Winfrey said today.
Appropriately, an Oprah spin-off, Sony’s Dr. Oz, can be declared the nominal Oprah replacement, having snagged her coveted news lead-in slot in more than 80 markets. But it’s no guarantee of success. With Oprah gone in the fall, the time period will be a wide open and highly competitive battleground where it’s quite possible no show or station will carve out a wide advantage.
Named to replace Norman at the helm of the Oprah-inspired Discovery Communications network is Discovery COO Peter Liquori. The shakeup is only the latest bump for OWN, which debuted a year later than scheduled and has struggled for ratings while burning through money.
May 25 will be the last day that original episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show will debut. Oprah has been in reruns for the last few weeks. But Winfrey tweeted Thursday that she was “hard at work planning the final shows,” and new episodes would begin April 7.
Discovery Communications is budgeting another $50 million for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Channel and is evaluating a possible rebranding of its Military Channel and Planet Green channel, pushing forward a strategy that has had early success for the cable programmer.
During the three-hour block beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, the new Oprah Winfrey Network averaged 1 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen Co. figures.
At noon on New Year’s Day, the Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN for short, arrived free of glitz with a one-hour preview special hosted by Winfrey in which she offered a hearty overview of the live-your-best-life fare she will curate across the network’s schedule.
At precisely 12 o’clock on New Year’s Day, Oprah Winfrey welcomed television viewers to OWN, a cable channel that she has said will espouse her “live your best life” mantra.
In a bold move, taking her landmark syndicated show off the air, Oprah Winfrey is moving to a larger stage — her own cable network, OWN. The Oprah Winfrey Network, backed by Discovery, launches on Saturday, Jan. 1, a day normally reserved for parades and football. Here’s a roundup of some of the pre-premiere coverage.
Those competiting for a slot hosting their own show on Oprah Winfrey’s new network include a travel guide who’s in a wheelchair, a comedian who thinks the U.S. needs a gay best friend, and a businesswoman aiming to make a show about money both informative and fun.
“Phase one” of the marketing effort aims to manage expectations that it’s not 24/7 Oprah on the new cable network that debuts Saturday.