Tow years ago, Oprah Winfrey's cable network OWN debuted to a deluge of headlines about weak programming, management shake-ups and it's honcho's dwindling influence. "I'm not doing the hula yet...but compared to a year ago, it feels like a sigh of relief," Winfrey said.
Discovery chief David Zaslav predicts OWN is poised to become profitable in late 2013, ahead of the five-year horizon Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels, a friend of Winfrey's, told the host to expect. "He said it me, 'It's like throwing spaghetti against the wall and watching it drizzle down,' " Winfrey recalled of a conversation they had in 2011. " 'Nothing's going to work until you get there.' "
The OWN network has been churning out relevant topics, and viewers, as of late. 3.5 million tuned in to Oprah's Next Chapter to see Oprah mourn with Whitney Houston's family. 1.6 million watched her debate marriage and faith with Pastor Joel Osteen. 2.5 million watched Rihanna open up about her relationship with R&B star Chris Brown.
Photo by: Joe Pugliese
"I don't do an interview if someone tells me I can't as a certain question. My policy is, 'You can tell me you won't answer it, but you have to tell me that on camera,' " the 58-year-old mogul said.
Photo by: Joe Pugliese
On Her Way to Arriving (Again)
In addition to Oprah's Next Chapter, OWN has signed a lucrative producing deal with Tyler Perry, found buzz in shows like Welcome to Sweetie Pie's (a reality series about a St. Louis family who runs soul food restaurants) and delivered 10 consecutive months of year-over-year growth.
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