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Discovery CFO: OWN Network Is a Work in Progress

Oprah Winfrey
Discovery Communications, Inc.

Brad Singer tells Media & Telecom Conference Monday that advertisers are on board long term, but the "hardest part" will be growing the audience.

The OWN Network is a work in progress, with audience numbers expected to grow in the second half of the year as shows starring Oprah Winfrey, Rosie O'Donnell and Shania Twain debut, Discovery Communications CFO Brad Singer said Monday.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media & Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Fla., Singer said advertisers are on board long term at the Discovery-Winfrey joint-venture OWN, and the "hardest part" will be growing the audience.

The executive had similar thoughts about the Hub, Discovery's joint venture channel with toymaker Hasbro. However, with an additional revenue stream beyond advertising and subscription fees -- that being merchandise sales -- that network is self-funding, he said.

The Hub, he said, has seen "a lot of success compared to Discovery Kids," which was replaced by the Hub in October.

Singer also said that the scatter market in the fourth quarter for shows across the various Discovery networks was strong and that he sees a continuation of that trend in the current quarter.

"All our categories seem to be OK," Singer said.