Oprah Winfrey And The Mistakes She Made Launching OWN Network

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Oprah Winfrey admits that she has made a lot of mistakes when she launched the OWN network. This pass Monday Winfrey told Charlie Rose and Gayle King on “CBS This Morning”, that if she had a clue how tough getting a cable network off the ground was, she might have gone in a different direction.

Winfrey made her first public comments about OWN since the cable network was rocked with negative attention following the cancellation of “The Rosie Show,” with host Rosie O’Donnell, and a restructuring that cost 30 people their jobs at OWN.

OWN launched 15 months ago as a network built around Winfrey’s life themes of empowerment and enlightenment. The network is a partnership with Discovery Communications, which has funneled $312 million into the venture.

However, despite Winfrey’s name on the door, it failed to gain the kind of traction she had for so many years on daytime television. Recently, with Winfrey being more focused and on the network more the ratings have crept up.

She said if she were writing a book about the experience of launching OWN, Winfrey said it would be titled “101 Mistakes.” Here were some of the mistakes she talked about:

  • She might have waited until the “Oprah” show had ended before launching the network.
  • Launching when we really weren’t ready to launch.
  • She likened it to having a wedding before really being ready to get married.

Winfrey said the last two weeks were tough with the negative attention on OWN, though she tossed it off as “just press.” She did say, however, through it all, one headline in USA Today stung, which read, “Oprah Not Quite Standing On Her Own.”

She said she feels better about OWN now than she ever has and that the strategy is to do what we should have done from the beginning, she said, “that is to build one show, one hour, one night at a time and move to the next night.”

Do you watch Oprah Own Network why or why not?

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