Oprah's magic wand fails, faces network problem

By Oprah’s OWN admission, the ratings for her new initiative don’t paint a rosy picture. But that doesn’t dishearten her a bit. She wants her fans to hold on for some time before it starts kicking.

FP Editors May 10, 2011 10:25:16 IST
Oprah's magic wand fails, faces network problem

Los Angeles: The launch earlier this year grabbed all the eyeballs. But after the initial euphoria is gone, Oprah Winfrey's network is finding it really hard to exactly measure up to the expectations. Five months on, the number of viewers is nowhere near the target. The TV mogul has herself admitted that the going has become tough.

The chat show queen says the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is "not where I want it to be".

Oprahs magic wand fails faces network problem

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is interviewed at the OWN. The network is not finding an easy run after the initial hype. Fred Prouser/Reuters

After its blockbuster launch in January which saw one million people tune in, ratings for OWN have tumbled and now average about 300,000 prime time and 150,000 in the day, reported Entertainment Weekly online.

The billionaire has asked audiences to wait before making their minds up and asked for a grace period of three years. "It's not where I want it to be. I am going to have to pay my dues and will be in the midst of a learning curve. And when I think I've learned as much as I need to know, I'll be hit with something else. Don't judge OWN until after three years. So, that's exactly what I have thought in my own mind," said the 57-year-old.

Oprah said that she has not been able to devote much time to the network because of her other ventures, including her talk show and magazine. "I was on the phone yesterday with the head of OWN probably for 20 minutes, and then I was on another phone call for an hour, so I probably gave OWN an hour and 20 minutes yesterday. Not enough," she said.

"And I hadn't talked to anybody for 2-3 days there. Doing this right... is a full-time job. And the magazine is a full-time job, but that's its own machine now. I wouldn't even say 10% of my time is on OWN right now. But it will be," she added.


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