Oprah Winfrey talks about initial shake-ups of OWN
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Oprah Winfrey talks about initial shake-ups of OWN

Los Angeles : CA : USA | Dec 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM PST
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59-year-old Oprah Winfrey has reflected on the early days of her two-year-old network, OWN. The talk show queen admitted in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter's 2012 Rule Breakers issue recently that she was greatly humbled by the initial management issues and weak programming of OWN.

According to reports, ratings sank to 300,000 in prime time and 150,000 in the day, as a result of which the talk show mogul was forced to lay off 150 employees last year. However, Oprah Winfrey's candid Next Chapter interview series and her producing deal with Tyler Perry scored the network its tenth consecutive month of year-over-year rating gains.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Oprah Winfrey, who is worth a reported $2.7 billion, said, “I’m not doing the hula yet...but compared to a year ago, it feels like a sigh of relief,” according to a report by Mail Online.

She continued, “Part of my own expectation was, ‘You’ve had 25 years of success; people will leverage that,’ but we didn’t account for people not having the channel, and not knowing how to find it, and the cable audience being different from broadcast.”

The television icon also recalled an advice she received from “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels. “He said, ‘It’s like throwing spaghetti against the wall, watching it drizzle down...Nothing’s going to work till you get there.’ That’s the great lesson: You can have vision but unless you maintain leadership of the vision and are there to help oversee the execution of the vision, it doesn’t work,” she said.

Oprah Winfrey revealed that the Next Chapter interview that surprised her most was with Rihanna. The presenter explained that the Barbadian singer “brought one thousand percent of her” on the show.

“You could tell that she came ready. She was open to anything,” said Oprah. “But I don’t do an interview if someone tells me I can’t ask a certain question. My policy is, I can ask any question, you can tell me you won’t answer it, but you have to tell me that on camera.”

The Chicago native continued, “I really didn’t know that much about her. I just thought she was so thoughtful and so smart. I didn’t know that she was or wasn’t, I only knew her from her music.”

Rihanna’s appearance on Oprah’s Next Chapter attracted 3.5 million viewers, who tuned in to watch the pop star break down with concern and love for her abusive ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown.

The TV host continued, “Every interview I do, whether it’s Rihanna, Usher, Daniel Day-Lewis...all of them are life classes. I get to have a thoughtful conversation with someone, not interrupted by having to go to commercial breaks.”

“It’s so different interviewing people when they’re not in front of an audience: so intimate and so personal. People really bring 100 percent of themselves,” she added.

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Michelle Lincaster is based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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