We all know that OWN is rebounding because of the soaps and Tyler Perry. But Oprah Winfrey said in an interview with New York magazine that her network’s early ratings struggles came because it was “too stoic and too serious”. “I have a tendency to look at everything from the point of view of: What is going to be meaningful, and uplift people? That can become too stoic and too serious — which is the same issue I suffered with at the magazine in the beginning. It needed more humor”, Winfrey told New York. “So we [began] looking for lighter fare. Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s works. Iyanla: Fix My Life was also a turning point. Having programming that was in alignment with the vision but also left the space to widen the lane for the vision. If it were up to me, I’d be doing [Winfrey’s Sunday talk show] Super Soul Sunday conversations all the time.” Winfrey told People Magazine that last summer she suffered “the symptoms of a nervous breakdown” and reached her “breaking point” because OWN was struggling publicly. She stepped in as CEO in 2011 of the network co-owned by Discovery Communications and has seen a ratings rise pretty much ever since, owing in part to a mega-deal with Perry that calls for three new series, soap operas, and her Oprah’s Next Chapter sit-downs that have included exclusives with the likes of pop culture figures like Lance Armstrong, Lindsay Lohan and Rihanna. In July, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said that OWN beat his forecast that it would begin to generate cash in the second half of the year. “[OWN is] now cash flow positive and starting to pay down the investment Discovery has made in the venture.”
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