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oprah_winfrey.jpgDiscovery Communications Inc. will launch a joint-venture partnership with Oprah Winfrey in the second half of next year called Own — the Oprah Winfrey Network — combining her television show and Web site with Discovery’s Health Channel, the company announced today.

Ownership and advertising revenue will be split evenly between Winfrey and Discovery, said Discovery chief executive David M. Zaslav. Winfrey will be the new company’s chairman. Own, like Winfrey’s magazine, will aim to “entertain and inspire” viewers and Web users, Zaslav said.

Discovery Health will remain as it is until the new venture launches next year, when it will be rebranded as the Own channel, Zaslav said. The Health Channel, which he called “beachfront real estate” in the cable world, reaches 68 million homes. The new channel will feature mostly original, non-fiction programming, Zaslav said, as the Health Channel does now. Winfrey’s Web site averages about 6 million unique visitors per month. (Continue Reading…)

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