— New Structure Leverages Strategic Partners Discovery and OWN —
(Los Angeles, Ca.) OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today a restructuring of its network operations in Los Angeles and New York. The restructure of the organization eliminates 30 positions and redistributes those responsibilities among the network and venture partners, Discovery Communications and Harpo Studios.
“It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives,” said Oprah Winfrey, CEO and chief creative officer, OWN, “but the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place. As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step.”
Oprah Winfrey became CEO and chief creative officer of OWN eight months ago, and tapped her Harpo leadership team, Erik Logan and Sheri Salata as presidents. The new management team has been reviewing the best structure and organizational design for the long term. Since September, OWN has garnered a double-digit increase in ratings and a network high cumulative 40 million viewers per month. Winfrey’s series “Oprah’s Next Chapter” reached a landmark #1 ranking among all cable networks at 10:00 p.m. with women 25-54 on Sunday, March 11 with the Houston family interview.
Said Logan, “We have been on the air for 15 months, and since September we have gained momentum in ratings and viewership. Restructuring our business will allow us to build a solid foundation for long-term growth.”
As part of the restructure, Neal Kirsch, a long-time Discovery executive and CFO of Discovery’s U.S. networks, will be moving to OWN in the role of chief operating officer and chief financial officer, reporting directly to Logan and Salata. In addition, Tina Perry, vice president, business and legal affairs, OWN, will now oversee the department and partner with Lee Bartlett, executive vice president, global production management, business and legal affairs, Discovery; Michelle Holt, vice president, production, OWN, will now oversee production management; and Ian Parmiter, senior vice president, marketing, Discovery Ad Sales, will oversee integrated marketing for OWN.
About OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK
A joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is a multi-platform media company designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN debuted on January 1, 2011, in approximately 77 million homes on what was the Discovery Health Channel. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform, Oprah.com. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own andwww.press.discovery.com/us/own.