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The Oprah Winfrey Network is on the move.
Winfrey’s three-year-old cable channel has signed a multiyear lease for new office space on The Lot in West Hollywood. OWN employees will move into three floors of a newly constructed five-story building on the storied property, which will serve as the network’s Los Angeles-based headquarters, at the end of this year.
Among the perks: the CIM Group property, located at 1041 North Formosa Ave., will offer OWN executives and producers access to screening rooms and sound stages. The network has had to do without the latter in its office park locale at 5700 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile neighborhood, which it has occupied since its launch. Deal terms for the Formosa space were not disclosed.
“We’ve been a little limited in our current offices, so when we film in L.A. we’re shooting in people’s houses or renting stages,” says OWN and Harpo Studios president Sheri Salata, who is enthusiastic about other on-lot support services such as security. (The latter is key given Winfrey’s profile.)
Fellow president Erik Logan suggests he and Salata found themselves inspired by the “super-charged” atmosphere that an active lot provided, particularly as they look to expand their scripted programming footprint at the network. An episode of HBO’s True Blood was shooting there when the pair took a tour of the facility. (Logan says this move is unrelated to the decision to sell Harpo Studios’ Chicago space.)
“Sheri and I, along with Oprah, love the idea of having a rich, stimulating creative environment to work in,” he says of the space, noting that The Lot’s Hollywood history is an added benefit. The nearly 100-year-old studio location has been home to such iconic TV projects as Love Boat and Dynasty, as well as films including Wuthering Heights, Some Like it Hot and West Side Story.
Adds Salata of the network’s forthcoming home: “It just felt like a place for where we’re going and what we want to do.”
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