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Oprah Signs Up for Weight Watchers

Oprah Winfrey has acquired a 10% stake in Weight Watchers, sending the company’s stock soaring.

Winfrey will be a director of the company as well as a spokesman. She has “joined the program and will candidly share her experiences and perspective along the way,” the company said.

Oprah bought $43.2 million worth of shares at $6.79 each. They closed at $13.92, netting Winfrey a quick profit of more than $50 million. She also received options to buy an additional 5% stake.

Winfrey also runs the Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture with Discovery Communications.

“Weight Watchers has given me the tools to begin to make the lasting shift that I and so many of us who are struggling with weight have longed for,” said Oprah Winfrey. “I believe in the program so much I decided to invest in the company and partner in its evolution.”

Winfrey will advise the company on future products and programs, the company said.

“We are expanding our purpose from focusing on weight loss alone to more broadly helping people lead a healthier, happier life,” said Jim Chambers, President and CEO, Weight Watchers International, Inc. “Through our conversations, it became clear that there is tremendous alignment between Oprah’s intention and our mission. We believe that her remarkable ability to connect and inspire people to realize their full potential is uniquely complementary to our powerful community, extraordinary coaches and proven approach.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.