A month after she reassured Cable Show attendees that she was all in, Oprah Winfrey has further immersed herself with the service bearing her name, saying that she will become CEO of the Oprah Winfrey Network, come fall.
Winfrey succeeds Christina Norman, who was dismissed in May, in the CEO role. The queen of daytime, whose syndicated show ended its 25-year run in May, told attendees at Cable Show 2011 in Chicago last month that she was fully committed to the fledging service.
The joint venture with Discovery Communications has disappointed with the ratings since its debut in January, struggling to match the viewership of the service it displaced, Discovery Health. Discovery COO Peter Liguori has been serving as the interim CEO of OWN since Norman's exit.
"I am ready to dedicate my full creative energy and focus as the full-time CEO of OWN," Winfrey said in a statement.
OWN also said that the presidents of Winfrey's Harpo Studios, Erik Logan and Sheri Salata will become presidents of OWN, effective immediately. All future television production at Harpo will be directed exclusively to OWN. These moves, according to the programmer, will strengthen the alignment and programming mission of both companies.
Logan and Salata will work closely with Liguori to ensure a smooth transition and maximum creative output over the coming months.
Lisa Erspamer will continue at OWN as executive vice president of production and development.
"The announcement of Oprah, Erik and Sheri completes the plan for developing a strategic creative track and finding the right management team to execute on that plan going forward," noted Liguori. "I look forward to a robust new season with Lisa Ling, Rosie [O'Donnell] and a number of projects that will continue building OWN's audience, brand strength and growth."
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