Oprah Winfrey used the OWN panel at the Television Critics Assn. gathering on Friday to reaffirm her commitment to the recently launched network that bears her name.
Noting that people have been asking her if she’s in or out at OWN, Winfrey said, “I’m in,” adding that she’s been spending her days in her office, participating in marketing and strategy meetings.
In June, the talk-show queen -- who closed out her syndicated daytime show in May -- conceded that she hadn’t been giving her all to the network. "I am [now] ready to dedicate my full creative energy and focus as the full time CEO of OWN,” she said, also pledging to “unleash the full potential of the network."
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Winfrey’s renewed commitment to her network comes at a critical time for the media outlet, which has shown signs of tumult in recent months; earlier this year, OWN CEO Christina Norman vacated her position. (Winfrey subsequently named herself CEO of the network.)
During the TCA panel, Winfrey introduced Erik Logan and Sheri Salata, previously presidents of Winfrey’s production facility Harpo Studios, who were installed as presidents of OWN in June. Winfrey enthused that the pair share her vision for OWN.
"In my new role [as CEO] I am focusing n the unity of Harpo and OWN, aligning them together,” Winfrey said at the panel.
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Winfrey also discussed an upcoming series on OWN, “OWN Your Life: The Oprah Class,” which will repurpose clips from her syndicated series as “a teaching tool” for the audience. The series will run weeknights at 8 p.m.
Rosie O’Donnell, whose “Rosie” will premiere this fall, also appeared at the panel. She noted that, despite having known Winfrey for some time now, she’s still intimidated by her new boss.
"I have to tell you, im still nervous when she calls,” O’Donnell said. “If you noticed, I have a pedicure; it was the second time I’ve been in a spa ever.”
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