It is an end of an era at OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network as Erik Logan departs after seven years as president. An avid surfer, he is joining the World Surf League as President of Content, Media and WSL Studios. At OWN, Logan will be succeeded by the network’s EVP, business and legal affairs and board member Tina Perry who is being promoted to general manager. Her title aligns OWN, a joint venture between Discovery Communications and Winfrey’s Harpo, with the other Disney networks which are led by General Managers.
Logan will remain at OWN for four months to help with the transition before starting at WSL in January. Perry, who will assume her new role in January, will oversee all business and creative areas of OWN. The network’s programming team under her includes Jon Sinclair EVP, Programming & Development, who shepherds unscripted; Tara Montgomery Creative EVP, Programming, Production & Development, who oversees current; and Carla Gardini EVP, Harpo Films, who has been in charge of scripted series.
Logan has been OWN’s sole president since 2016 when co-president Sheri Salata exited. Logan and Salata had been Winfrey’s go-to executives for the past decade. When OWN got off to a rocky start with low ratings and a revolving door of top execs, Winfrey brought in from Harpo the duo, who helped steady the ship and oversaw the network’s ascend, spearheading OWN’s day-to-day operations. With Logan at the helm, OWN has become the leading cable network for African American women and has expanded its slate with a focus on premium scripted programming created by prominent African American storytellers with hits such as Queen Sugar, Greenleaf and Love Is __. The network currently has five of the top 20 original scripted series on ad-supported cable among women 25-54. Logan joined OWN in July 2011, previously he was EVP of Winfrey’s Harpo Studios in Chicago since 2008.
“Erik has been a great leader and was the driving force in the network’s turnaround. Everyone who knows Erik knows he has a passion for surfing and this is a perfect opportunity for him,” said Winfrey. “Tina has been an important and valued member of the executive team at OWN since before launch and played a vital role in shaping the network as a member of the board. I am confident in taking the reins at OWN she will guide the network to continued success.”
Added Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav, “There are few people who have contributed more to OWN’s growth and success over the past ten years than Erik Logan. Simply put, OWN would not be the strong and quality brand, platform, and commercial enterprise it is today without Erik’s tireless hard work, steady leadership and enthusiasm for producing world class storytelling. We wish Erik great success chasing his passion, and I look forward to welcoming Tina to the Discovery leadership team as well. As part of the original executive leadership launching OWN a decade ago, I believe Tina is the right leader at the right time who will bring exceptional relationships, capacity and management to take OWN’s many brand and business opportunities successfully into the future.”
Perry has been leading business and legal affairs for OWN and Oprah.com since joining the network in 2009. She has been instrumental in the network’s ongoing evolution into scripted programming. Perry led negotiations for the network’s acclaimed drama Queen Sugar created by award-winning director/producer Ava DuVernay featuring an all-female slate of directors. She also negotiated the overall deal with Lionsgate which has included one of the network’s most successful series launches to date with hit megachurch drama Greenleaf from writer/producer Craig Wright.
Most recently, Perry negotiated the deal for Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil’s Love Is ___ as well the network’s two new series from Will Packer, and the upcoming drama David Makes Man from Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight). Prior to joining OWN, Perry handled business and legal affairs for VH1 and MTV at Viacom.
Logan’s role at the WSL will include overseeing all live and non-live content and media, in addition to global distribution across all the WSL’s owned and operated channels, as well as its partners. Logan will also lead the creation of WSL Studios, which will deliver scripted and unscripted surf and lifestyle content as well as a new direct-to-consumer membership platform. Surfing has been a long-time passion for Logan who is current adviser to WSL and served on the Board of Directors of USA Surfing.
“It has been a true privilege to work alongside Oprah for over a decade, first at Harpo and then as president of OWN, and I am grateful for the opportunity from her and David Zaslav,” said Logan. “We have built the network into a powerful platform for storytelling that resonates and uplifts people around the world. OWN is in an excellent position of strength and I am proud of what we have achieved together.”