Oprah: 'I Have Not Begun to Give Anything to OWN'
Oprah Winfrey says she would have launched OWN differently if she did it all over again.
When asked by Entertainment Weekly if she regrets kicking off her network while still airing her talk show (which goes off the air this month after 25 years), Winfrey says, "I’ve thought maybe it would have been better to wait until this completely ended and then literally use [Oprah] as a launchpad.
"If I had it to do differently and had thought of that option, I might have considered that a priority. But I don’t spend a lot of time in the regret mode," she continues.
"I feel like I have not begun to give anything to OWN," Winfrey adds. "I was on the phone yesterday with the head of OWN probably for 20 minutes, and then I was on another phone call for an hour, so I probably gave OWN and hour and 20 minutes yesterday. Not enough. Not enough. And I hadn’t talked to anybody for two or three days there. Doing this right and ending [Oprah] … is a full-time job. And the magazine is a full-time job, but that’s its own machine now. I don’t have to a lot with that anymore. But I still have to check in, approve things. I wouldn’t even say 10 percent of my time is on OWN right now. But it will be. [After the end of Oprah] I can start to give my attention to OWN that it deserves. Its going to improve exponentially with the amount of time and service I can give to it."
Winfrey tells EW that she met Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels at a dinner party and has been taking his advice.
"He said it’s going to take three years, not two. And I am going to have to pay my dues and will be in the midst of a learning curve," says Winfrey. "And when I think I’ve learned as much as I need to know, I’ll be hit with something else. Don’t judge OWN until after three years. So that’s exactly what I have thought in my own mind."
Christina Norman recently stepped down as CEO of the OWN network, which launched in January. Peter Liguori, COO of Discovery Communications, will replace her in the interim.