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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Oprah Winfrey Announces The Launch Of "OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network"

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey will launch a new television network with Discovery Communications that will be a "natural extension" of her show, her company said Tuesday. "The Oprah Winfrey Network" will be a multi-platform media venture "designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives," according to a joint statement with Discovery, which owns the Discovery Network and Animal Planet, among others.

The new channel will debut in 2009 in more than 70 million homes, on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel. "Fifteen years ago, I wrote in my journal that one day I would create a television network, as I always felt my show was just the beginning of what the future could hold," said Winfrey. "For me, the launch of 'The Oprah Winfrey Network' is the evolution of the work I've been doing on television all these years and a natural extension of my show," she said.

David Zaslav, president and chief executive of Discovery Communications, said the deal furthers the company's goals "to improve the quality of the networks while expanding the reach and success of our web presence." Zaslav said the effort would be broadened internationally but offered no details. "We start with 70 million" US households, he said. "We'll look to build on that around the world and on all platforms." He added, Winfrey "will have full editorial control over the joint venture and will be responsible for OWN's programming, branding and creative vision," the statement said.

Winfrey, 53, whose Harpo Productions will own half of the new channel, was an investor in the women-oriented Oxygen Network, which was sold last year to NBC Universal for 925 million dollars. In a conference call, Winfrey said, "I was an investor in Oxygen and the channel did not reflect my voice. This is very different." She offered no details on programming but said she wanted to see "the kinds of shows that make my heart sing."

(Photo Credits: George Burns)


Anonymous said...

Ay, this woman is a genius!!!!!!!!!!!

Kenyan woman said...

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Barbara said...

Very good for Oprah, it is always good to see someone living out their dreams through hard work and high ambition