Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dis-OWNed: Oprah Cans 30 Staffers

Signature of American television personality, ...
Signature of American television personality, Oprah Winfrey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Disappointing viewership numbers have prompted parent company Discovery Communications to prod Oprah Winfrey to slash a fifth of her start-up cable network OWN's workforce, MediaLife magazine reports.

Discovery, which staked Winfrey's network launch reportedly to the tune of $300 million, plans to assume a higher profile in operating OWN, announcing the appointment of Neal Kirsch as OWN's CFO/COO. Kirsch has served as Discovery's chief financial officer.

Following the cancellation of  ratings-starved Rosie O'Donnell's talk show, OWN has trimmed 30 jobs in a cost-savings move, according to the MediaLife article. Winfrey, who assumed the CEO slot at her nascent cable network last summer, has scored well in the ratings when she has appeared in programming such as "Oprah's Next Chapter."

Winfrey blamed the economics of a cable start-up for having to make the tough business decision to slash personnel. "TUOL" hopes the affected workers didn't have to endure the spectacle of Oprah yelling: "You get a pink slip! You get a pink slip! Everyone gets a pink slip!"
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