Oprah calls her new cable venture a tough climb

2012-04-06 07:34

Oprah Winfrey says creating her new cable network has turned out to be a steep climb.

“I’m climbing Kilimanjaro,” she told advertisers yesterday at a presentation for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

She quickly explained that her Kilimanjaro is at the offices of OWN. “You know that song, The Time of My Life? I’ve had the climb of my life,” she cracked.

The network has struggled to build an audience since its launch last year January. It recently announced severe staff layoffs and a management shake-up with Discovery Communications, the company that’s bankrolled it with more than $300 million (about R2.4 billion).

But Winfrey struck a hopeful note in her brief remarks, even as she allowed she’s still nowhere near the channel’s summit of success.

“With our restructuring and right-sizing and getting into the sauce of what needs to happen every day, I feel like I can at least now see the summit,” she said.

OWN was unveiling four new prime-time series, including Elura and Michele Take Staten Island, a reality series with two outspoken former prosecutors who tell people how to straighten out their problems; Iyanla Fix My Life, starring the author and inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant; Married to the Army: Alaska, which focuses on Alaska-based wives and families of military troops who are off serving in Afghanistan; and Six Little McGhees, about high school sweethearts Mia and Rozonno McGhee, parents of the first sextuplets born in Columbus, Ohio.

In addition, OWN will introduce a new game show, Are You Normal, America?. It measures its contestants’ opinions and habits against those of the nation overall.

Winfrey’s appearance at the Discovery “upfront” presentation came the week she was interviewed on CBS’s This Morning about her challenges at OWN.

“The idea of creating a network was something that I wanted to do,” she told the programme’s co-host – and her best friend – Gayle King on Monday. She added: “Had I known that it was this difficult, I might have done something else.”

“If I knew then what I know now, I might have made different choices,” she declared. “If I were writing a book about it, I could call the book ‘101 Mistakes’.”

Among those mistakes: going on-air before the network was ready. But Winfrey insisted: “I feel better about our network now, today, than I ever have.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.