It’s an end of an era — one of Oprah Winfrey’s closest long-time confidants, Sheri Salata, is leaving OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, where she served as co-president and management partner alongside Erik Logan. Logan will remain as president of OWN. Salata will be launching a brand innovation agency and content/story platform with OWN and the Oprah Media Group as one of the first clients.

Sheri Salata headshotLogan and Salata have been Winfrey’s go-to executives over the past few years. When OWN got off to a rocky start with low ratings and a revolving door of top execs, Winfrey brought in the duo, who have helped steady the ship and have overseen the network’s ascend, spearheading OWN’s day-to-day operations .

Salata has been with Winfrey for 21 years, first joining Winfrey’s Harpo Studios in 1995 as a promotions producer. She served as executive producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show from 2006 through its finale in May 2011, segueing to the OWN job.

“I give my deep thanks and appreciation to Sheri not only for helping to create a strong platform of growth for OWN and our digital business, but for her tireless commitment and sacrifice producing the final years of The Oprah Winfrey Show. It was an unparalleled time of our lives,” said Oprah Winfrey, CEO of OWN. “I am excited about what we are doing at OWN and look forward to continuing our growth with Erik and the dedicated team as we take our company to the next level.”

Erik Logan_1In July 2011, Salata and Logan stepped into co-president roles at OWN where they have served together for the past five years.

“My partnership and friendship with Sheri has been one of the most rewarding in my career,” said Logan. “I am grateful for everything she has put into our success. She has our entire support as she follows her new dream.”

A veteran radio and media industry executive, Logan joined Harpo Studios in 2008 as EVP.

“It’s time to take what has been the ride of my life to the next level in creating my own agency and doing what I love best — telling stories,” said Salata. “Oprah has been my North Star and spiritual mentor for 20 years and her faith in me and this next venture means everything. Erik and the entire OWN team are simply the best in the business and I can’t wait to see what unfolds.”