“Fifteen years ago, I wrote in my journal that one day I would create a television network, as I always felt my show was just the beginning of what the future could hold.” -Oprah Winfrey, 2008

Oprah in 2010

O where O where has Oprah gone?

Since her television talk show’s finale in May, there’s not really been a lot of buzz surrounding Oprah or her new television network, OWN, which debuted on January 1, 2011.

What talk there has been has centered on the fact that the network is not proving to be the successful business endeavor Oprah had hoped for.

Since its launch, the network has struggled with “several management shake-ups and suffered mediocre ratings,” according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Judy Hasday, author of the Morgan Reynolds title Business Leaders: Oprah Winfrey, wrote, “Despite being a billionaire and a celebrity, Winfrey derives her greatest pleasure through giving to others.” Which was one of her motivations behind starting OWN, according to Hasday. “The new venture [is] designed to ‘entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives.”

Unfortunately, according to the ratings, OWN is not reaching a large portion of Oprah’s formerly massive audience. The Wall Street Journal reported, “Although OWN had a strong debut when it launched. . . drawing more than one million viewers for its first prime-time shows, the network has failed to hold onto that audience in the intervening months and needs some higher-profile shows to draw in a wider viewership.”

In July of this year, in an attempt to take a more hands-on approach to controlling her network in order to boost ratings, Oprah stepped up to become OWN’s CEO.

Hasday wrote, “Oprah’s hard work lead her to become one of the richest and most influential people in the world.”

But is her influence enough to jump-start OWN’s ratings?

Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor

For more information about Oprah Winfrey, check out Morgan Reynolds’s Business Leaders: Oprah Winfrey, by Judy Hasday. (ISBN 9781599350967)

Published in: on November 4, 2011 at 11:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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