Bloomberg News

Oprah Winfrey to Become CEO of OWN After Ratings Fall Short

July 13, 2011

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Oprah Winfrey, whose syndicated talk show ended in May after 25 years, will become chief executive officer of Oprah Winfrey Network after ratings at her six-month- old cable channel fell below expectations.

Winfrey will take over from interim CEO Peter Liguori, the chief operating officer of Discovery Communications Inc., which co-owns the channel with Winfrey, according to a statement today. OWN, which started Jan. 1, dismissed former CEO Christina Norman in May.

Winfrey, 57, is expanding her role as chairman of the network, also adding the role of chief creative officer. The channel, which currently shows reruns of “Dr. Phil” and “What Not to Wear,” will debut new programs in the next six months, including “Rosie,” “In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman” and “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”

Erik Logan and Sheri Salata, presidents of Winfrey-owned Harpo Studios, were appointed presidents of OWN.

Discovery Communications, based in Silver Spring, Maryland, rose 10 cents to $41.98 at 10:05 a.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares were little changed this year before today.

--Editors: Cecile Daurat, John Lear

To contact the reporter on this story: Devin Banerjee in New York at dbanerjee2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net


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