Oprah Winfrey, talk show host of the “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for 25 years, has learned some valuable lessons in making the jump from talk show host to network owner and operator. While critics have been derogatory, and the press has kept the network’s low ratings in the forefront of Oprah Winfrey news, Winfrey continues to hold her head up as she continues moving forward. It seems that she is keeping with the same philosophies that she has shared with her audiences over the years in learning from and picking one’s self up after making a mistake.
OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) was started in January 2011. It was started with the success of the Winfrey name, and millions in investment capital from the Discover Channel. Since its debut, there have been problems at every turn. Some of these problems have resulted from an unstable management platform, or various other personnel and managerial clashes.
The network offers original content in the form of specials, programs, documentaries and movies. However, ratings are low, consistently, and Winfrey is treading water at this point, trying to keep the network afloat. Her name and backers are no longer enough. To assure her loyal fans, she has promised a new strategy that will help OWN succeed.
Commenting about what she calls her 101 Mistakes with OWN, Winfrey said she felt OWN had been launched before its time. She said she realizes now she should have waited until her obligation with “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was completely done. The show ended May of 2011. OWN was launched in January of 2011. Winfrey was split on time and resources between the show and her network, which did not allow her to fully concentrate on either. Winfrey added though, that she had warned her Discovery investors that she was not (at that time) able to take the lead.
As part of her new strategy, Winfrey is partnering with Comcast for a distribution deal. This deal enables Comcast to continue carrying the network. Since Comcast Cable is the largest digital cable TV plan provider in the US, it helps the network ratings due to exposure and accessibility.
Despite the negative publicity garnered by the press, Erik Logan, president of OWN, reports there has been an increase in viewership that is gaining momentum. Logan went on to thank OWN’s affiliates and partners in advertising.
Winfrey reported that had she known how difficult the undertaking of launching a network could be, she might have done something else. However, with more experience under her belt, and a new strategy to work with, Winfrey promises to keep trying. With more than 25 years of experience doing what she loves, Winfrey also promised to die doing what she loves to do. She said she tries so hard because she feels there is a calling on her life to help others live their best. Fans can probably expect to see this same level of dedication operating as Winfrey brings OWN out of its current slump to put it back at the top of the ratings list.