The trouble surrounding Oprah’s cable network OWN is well documented. Since premiering last year, the network has struggled to retain viewers and capitalize on the popularity of Oprah’s network show.
Just yesterday, Oprah announced that she was pulling the plug on Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show, and now she has announced that she’s laying off a fifth of her staff.
According to Oprah and her partner Discovery Communications, OWN is undergoing a “restructure” of its New York and Los Angeles offices and will trim at least 30 jobs. Additionally, Neal Kirsch of Discovery Communications will become OWN’s new Chief Operating Officer, and will report to HARPO executives Sheri Salata and Erik Logan.
Oprah issued a statement about the shake up:
“It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives, but the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place. As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step.”
But will the changes help the struggling network? Only time–and ratings–will tell.
What do you think? Can Oprah save OWN?