Oprah gets OWN long-held dream


Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications Chief Executive David Zaslav unveiled the fulfillment of the world’s most powerful media woman’s long-held dream. OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network will make its debut in the second half of 2009 in 70 million homes on what is now the Discovery Health Network.

OWN will be a 50-50 venture owned by Discovery and Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, with Winfrey as its chairwoman and enjoying editorial control. It will also include the oprah.com website. Winfrey, who turns 54 this month, has created a media empire which also includes O magazine, the “Oprah & Friends” channel on XM Satellite Radio and a movie and television production company.

The new channel is based on a cashless transaction. Winfrey’s Harpo Productions will be responsible for OWN’s programming, branding and creative vision. Discovery Communications’ contribution will be its nine-year-old Discovery Health Channel, as well as distribution, origination and other operational requirements.


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