OWN president resigns

Position to be eliminated after Schwartz's departure

In an executive shakeup at upstart OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, Robin Schwartz has stepped down as president after 10 months.

The position won't be filled, with CEO Christina Norman, who joined OWN in January, directly overseeing all aspects of development and programming.

In a statement, Norman thanked Schwartz "for her hard work, dedication and passion. ... As a result of her resignation, I've decided to streamline executive reporting and will not be replacing the position."

Schwartz's top lieutenants, senior vp creative affairs Nina Wass and senior vp programming Maria Grasso, will now report directly to Norman.

Schwartz, who joined OWN in June, was president of now-defunct Regency TV and held positions at NBC and ABC Family.

With her all-scripted background and limited cable experience, Schwartz was a surprising first top exec hire at OWN, whose slate is built on unscripted series/talk shows, specials and theatricals.

On the other hand, Norman, a 17-year MTV Network veteran who served as president of MTV and VH1, had been considered a perfect choice to spearhead the launch of OWN, a joint venture of Oprah Winfrey's Harpo and Discovery Communications.

Her strong programming experience led to overlapping duties with Schwartz and the eventual elimination of the president position.

Norman was front and center at OWN's upfront this month, touting the network's inaugural programming slate to advertisers. Schwartz didn't take part in the presentations.
comments powered by Disqus