In an unusually candid moment talking about her fledgling network, OWN, Oprah Winfrey told CBS This Morning on April 2 that had she known it would be so difficult building an audience on cable, she would have done something else after wrapping her talk show. ”I didn’t think it was going to be easy,” she told Charlie Rose and Gayle King. ”If I knew then what I know now, I might have made some different choices.” It’s no wonder the former Queen of Daytime is engaging in a little Monday-morning quarterbacking: OWN, which launched in January 2011, has already burned through more than $300 million and could lose another $142.9 million over the next year, according to analysts at SNL Kagan. Given that the only programming that seems to be working features O herself (the network’s highest-rated show, Oprah’s Next Chapter, averages 1.1 million viewers), OWN’s strategy for year 2 is simple: more airtime for the queen bee. Besides Next Chapter and Oprah’s Lifeclass, Winfrey will appear in episodes of the restaurant reality show Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s and the upcoming dating show Lovetown, USA, as well as the Super Soul Sunday programming block and various specials like her Master Class series. ”We feel good about where we are,” says OWN president Erik Logan, who acknowledges that the network suffered while Winfrey finished her talk show last year. ”Job one has been to get everything on the network more on brand.” Next step? Persuading advertisers to stay on board with new shows like Iyanla Fix My Life and Married to the Army: Alaska, because not every program will feature the boss. ”In order to continue building, we can’t have it be Oprah all the time,” Logan says. ”The recipe is taking her brand and making sure you feel that across a number of shows.”
Posted April 6 2012 — 12:00 AM EDT
- 'Orphan Black' creator on that crazy, twerktastic episode: 'It was an important one for us'
- 'Orphan Black': Dylan Bruce on Paul's big moment
- Ryan Reynolds makes young fan's dream come true on 'Deadpool' set
- And the winner of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest is...
- Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' at 35: Horror director Ted Geoghegan pays tribute
- Sting and Jimmy Fallon take 'Roxanne' to barbershop
- 'Mad Max' gets the 'Mario Kart' mashup it deserves
- Summer Movie Preview: 10 must-see documentaries
- 'Fear the Walking Dead' First Look: 7 photos from the set
- Cannes 2015: What's buzzing in film and fashion
- 'Survivor': Meet 20 alums you picked for a 'Second Chance'
- Ellie Kemper, more faces of the 2015 Webby Awards
- Karina Smirnoff, Zachary Quinto, Taylor Swift & More!