Courtesy of HuffPost BlackVoices
LOS ANGELES — Oprah Winfrey earned the rare opportunity to convert her media charisma into a monogramed TV channel. Now she’s the one tasked with rescuing OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, after a disappointing first year.
It’s a high-stakes, potentially ego-shattering challenge that could make the strongest woman or man flinch. But win or lose, Winfrey says she relishes the fight to turn OWN’s fortunes around.
“Yes, some mistakes were made. Who hasn’t made mistakes? The real beauty is you can say, `I learned from that,'” Winfrey said. “I don’t worry about failure. I worry about, `Did I do all I could do?'”
The cable channel, which marks its first year Jan. 1, is trying for a fresh start after executive turnover and missteps that proved OWN lacked a solid foundation on which to build, this despite a Discovery Communications investment of a reported $250 million and counting.
Viewers snubbed the lineup that skimped on programming and, surprisingly, what should have been OWN’s unique weapon of choice: Winfrey herself, whose limited on-air presence will be boosted Sunday with a new weekly series, “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”
OWN has failed to improve on, or in some instances even match, the modest ratings and small audience earned by the low-profile Discovery Health channel it replaced.
“I would absolutely say it is and was not where I want it to be for year one,” Winfrey said. “My focus up until (last) May was doing what I do best, which is `The Oprah Winfrey Show,’ and giving that my full attention” until its conclusion.