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Oprah's "OWN" Ousts Christina Norman As CEO, Searches For Ratings Boost

Oprah Winfrey's OWN has a new CEO.  Get the deets on the employment shakeups on the struggling network inside.....

It was recently announced that OWN's CEO Christina Norman will soon depart the network after 2 years on the job, and will be replaced by Discovery Communications COO Peter Liguori.  Also interesting to note, The OWN channel is who replaced the Discovery Health channel in the first place. 

The employment shakeup comes as sources report that OWN continues to struggle with its ratings and is burning through piles of money.  

In a statement, OWN described Peter's appointment as "a transition from a launch phase to a more long-term focus on business and creative strategy, development and execution." The statement went on to point out that Christina did lead a "successful launch of the multi-platform joint venture."

Oprah released a statement about the move saying:

"I want to thank Christina for her important accomplishments, incredible passion and many sacrifices in helping to launch the network.  With the final taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" only a few weeks away, I will soon be able to devote my full energies to OWN.

This is a natural point of transition, and I am confident that Peter, as an integral part of the launch of OWN, will be a terrific partner for me going forward. He is one of the smartest, most creative executives in media, and I look forward to his leadership as we build our development slate and work toward the launch of 'Oprah's Next Chapter.' Over the remainder of the year, Peter and I will work together to recruit a permanent CEO for OWN's next phase of growth."

 

Christina, who spent 17 years as the President of MTV Networks before moving to the OWN Network, had this to say:

"Joining OWN was a great opportunity, and launching it successfully and drawing more than 67 million viewers is one of my proudest achievements.


My thanks to Oprah and David for entrusting me with this brand and giving me the opportunity to launch OWN. As I move on to my next challenge, I am confident the strong foundation we have built will position the network to achieve great things.

OWN will soon add talk show host Rosie O'Donnell to the lineup hoping this will stir up some interest.  Do you have a favorite show on the channel yet?  I'm personally loving the "Season 25: Behind The Scenes" episodes.  I've learned that Lady O is just as much of a lush as me.  Love that!

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Anonymous's picture

I do love and respect Oprah

I do love and respect Oprah Winfrey and wish her the best in her new network. As with everything she touches, Oprah does her "homework" and the best is sure to follow. Anyone who expected this network to be complete and born full blown from the maternal-network-making "brow" is naive. Therefore, it is symptomatic of the newness of things to allow them the space to grow -- such that we can expect and tolerate a beginning of repetitions, short-segment programs, old feature movies that are classics, innocuous programming from other networks that are well received, available and appreciated -- along with the fantastic Master Classes and Behind the Scenes (even though I did not prefer it but would have loved to see a repeat of some old shows instead), I perceived the validity of the need for such documentation and did enjoy learning of some of the process. It was just that I'd get into the interest of a show and never get to re-see much of it and was disappointed. I think some of the suggestions are good. The criticisms should be simply cast aside. For instance good suggestionss are for: (1) More diversity in programming. Here is an opportunity to try out a few short-term shows with African-Americans and other ethnicities for at least one or two shows a week. (2) Hurry and bring on Iyanla Vanzant and see if that will recapture several new factions in your potential audience. (3) I'm surprised at how much I really enjoy Gail's programming and learning just how talented she is and has always been. (4) Bring back and continue the Master Classes. There is an endless amount of choices out there; and keep it ethnically even. Good start. (5) Lisa Ling is a professional who deserves to be featured as much as possible. (6) I like the choices of the movies because I know they are "safe and entertaining" as well. Even old movies deserve a chance to be revived. I never have to worry about excessive violence. I like that. (7) I like the chance that Oprah is taking on Rosie O'Donnell, who has much to say that is worth listening to. (8) I'd like to see a bold political news show like Keith Oberman (spelling, sorry) or an equivalent even. (9) I like the fact that there have been short-term programs because I know that they will (a) either be continued later, or (b) replaced by something even more interesting; (10) I don't mind the repetitions because I know if I miss a show (Gayle's) I have an opportunity to see it later. That's refreshing and reassuring for me. But don't listen to the nay-sayers, Ms. Winfrey. You don't have to rush to be the best. You don't have to follow the industry standards. You can make your own standards and make the industry come up to yours. I already see some that may have adopted a few of your techniques. Think about it. Your importance is to become a leader in the industry and that takes time and that takes integrity. You CAN set the bar. Don't be discouraged.
MariLeeza's picture

The only shows I watch on

The only shows I watch on there are Our America with Lisa Ling, that food addiction ranch show (I forget what it's called Addiction, Addicted or something like that) and the behind the scenes show. The Shania and Judd shows are boring and on the weekends they show a bunch of movies I don't like. Yeah I hope they get it together cause that's not just losing a show but losing a whole network!
Chantayk's picture

I recently viewed a

I recently viewed a commerical for Oprah's last show "ask questions to her staff and I seen 2 people of color on her staff "in that commerical" so do we really care, I know Oprah is the ultimate YBF however it's time for a change, it's time to be that country, kinky head girl she's so yearnin to be then perhaps I would care who and what the big "O" does..until then I'm passin..
Mi Mi's picture

How about a Black Soap Opera,

How about a Black Soap Opera, and a few tasteful reality shows featuring Afican Americans just as she does Shania Twain and The Judds. Make your OWN Movies like Lifetime. Get it rolling girl. I like the show where they find long lost friends and relatives. That's about it for me. The movies are old and lame, but it's what Oprah likes and that's the problem. She doesn't have to go hood, but damn spice it up a little.
What?'s picture

Its not just about changing

Its not just about changing CEO's, I think we lack materials with good substance and meaning. This here changed my perspective http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMeNf0GJICs
Anonymous's picture

Wow! Powerful (

Wow! Powerful ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMeNf0GJICs ) Now this is really good material with good substance, it explains exactly whats going on in the world today
James 500's picture

If anyone can do it Oprah

If anyone can do it Oprah can. However, it takes a lot to run a network. You need shows that DIFFERENT types of audience relate to at different points in the day. The person who watches at 1 A.M. is probably not going to be watching at 1 P.M. Once her show ends, I am sure she will get down to business. Right now Shania Twain and the Judds are on. The only interesting thing with these shows is that Shania is boring and the Judds (especially the mother) has obviously had LOTS of plastic surgery.
zappy's picture

The only good show on her

The only good show on her network was "Our America with Lisa Ling" and they only showed like 5 episodes and then the season was over!
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Adtyrtre's picture

I learned from COMCAST Cable

I learned from COMCAST Cable that it will cost me more to have her channel...so I don't have it or watch it. Times are hard.
Anonymous's picture

I was going to say the same

I was going to say the same thing. She needs to get different channel to expand her audience. The very prople she wants to reach cannot afford the extra expense. Is there a solution to this problem?
Anonymous's picture

Ey... it cost to be the boss

Ey... it cost to be the boss & what ever the boss wants, the boss gets!!! CUZ BOSSES CUT CHECKS SO FUCK DA REST!!!
Anonymous's picture

I think once Oprah's daytime

I think once Oprah's daytime talk show airs their final episode and she focuses on OWN the ratings will increase. http://www.natoyaebony.com/
Anonymous's picture

I just hope she has a variety

I just hope she has a variety of shows for people with different interest. I haven't really taken a lot of time to watch it. I like the "Masters" series but, like someonelse said, there are a lot repeats.
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Anonymous's picture

I love OWN. My only issue is

I love OWN. My only issue is it has a lot of repeats. I understand, it is a new network. It will definitely take some time. The one thing about Oprah is she has alot of integrity, she will not exploit people all for the sake of the dollar. This could hurt the network as people love a trainwreck. I wish Oprah the best, i'm sure it will pick up speed once the Oprah show has it's finale and all her stans have nothing else to watch.
LoveOprah's picture

I remember when Oprah started

I remember when Oprah started her show,there was a plethora of talk shows on then. Phil Donahue was King of daytime talk shows and it took Oprah a while to really sink her feet into that world. Now I look around and she is the last one standing, and the wealthiest from back then. I honestly believe her network will be just like that. I cannot see true success coming until at least two years has passed. All will be well with OWN in the end.
Starla's picture

Yes, Oprah did quite well

Yes, Oprah did quite well with her TV Talk show, but running a TV Network is a whole other animal. Building an audience for a network requires some very strategic planning. For example FOX network build its audience by producing show aimed at a Black viewers. U have to have a target audience and U need 2 or 3 shows that can dominate their time slot. This is not an easy task at all.
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Anonymous's picture

OWN network needs time to

OWN network needs time to find it's niche. For God sakes it just got started 5 months ago and she needs time. Both Spike TV and Oxygen took awhile to find their niche. She needs to get an interview with all of Bin Laden wives and put it on her network.
big Lips Big Nose Nappy Hair Tar Baby aka Coal Black African's picture

That's a great idea!! If she

That's a great idea!! If she pulls it off, I will watch OWN forever even if it requires paying from where I live.
Fab5's picture

Thank you, 5 months is not a

Thank you, 5 months is not a long time. I watch a few shows and will continue to support her cause.
Yardy's picture

I am excited about OWN! Oprah

I am excited about OWN! Oprah reason for living is to improve the lives of others. Those of you who read this message can you please commit to watching at least one show a week on the OWN network. This is not about making money for this women. Oprah could care less about her fortune. Her fortune is to improve and enrich the lives of other. Women like Oprah need a purpose and her purpose is to inspire us as a group, specifically women.
TheFashionistaChic's picture

I think Oprah needs some

I think Oprah needs some original programming not talk shows or reality shows but movies of the week, sitcoms and dramas. Also, she needs to do reruns of her show. There are so many cable networks that are vying for our attention that she has to do something different to let her network stand out. All the cable networks are focus on reality tv.
big Lips Big Nose Nappy Hair Tar Baby aka Coal Black African's picture

Please check your facts.

Please check your facts. There is no title "President of MTV Networks". There is "President" for each of the MTV Networks, and Christina was President for MTV but not for 17 years, for God's sake.
Anon's picture

Anon, thanks for the

Anon, thanks for the clarification. Respectively, OWN is a joint-venture with Discovery Communications.
friendoffacts's picture

Too many reality shows on her

Too many reality shows on her network.
Kim K's picture

Oprah, I thought that you

Oprah, I thought that you would be the one to get the one and only interview of couple Jay-z/Beyonce together as a sit down interview and also as performing together before your show ends but I see you don't have that much power. Now that would be great if you could.
Anonymous's picture

Oprah needs some diversity. I

Oprah needs some diversity. I refuse to watch the show.I watch some Oprah show but I'm tired of John Travolta, Cher,Julia Roberts,Jennifer Aniston,Dr. Phil,Rachel Ray,and Dr.Oz. yes, some things are good to hear but I have seen more black people this year ONLY. OWN is horrible.She is her OWN worst enemy.You can't have a network without diversity. She needs some youth and to widen her vison. Yes it is for middle age white women.You can say whatever you want. That was ok for 4:00-5:00pm but not all day. Plus we have TIVO.Young people need way more and she isn't on it.
Anonymous's picture

So true. Who wants to see

So true. Who wants to see the Ryders. They are a mother and daughter act from the oooold days. Oprah you have to give the people what they want. A network has to cater to everybody.
Texas's picture

I have to agree with this

I have to agree with this one!
Anonymous's picture

I have to agree with this

I have to agree with this one!
Anonymous's picture

My fave is Behind the Scenes!

My fave is Behind the Scenes! I wish there were shows for young adults (mid 20s).
Anonymous's picture

There's no diversity, and I

There's no diversity, and I don't mean race. I mean everything else no REAL programming for men, for urban interests, for sports fans, for political people, music lovers, etc. it's just 24 hours the Oprah Winfrey show with a different face.
MasterMind's picture

Kissing housewives asses is 1

Kissing housewives asses is 1 thing. appealing to everyone one else is quite another.
MasterMind's picture

I'm not sure that ousting the

I'm not sure that ousting the CEO will make a difference in an of itself; I have always heard that Oprah micromanages every detail (not necessarily a bad thing when you have done what it takes to be successful), so the slump of OWN cannot be blamed solely on one person. The biggest issue I can see -- based on what I see in the upcoming programming guide, since I admit I don't watch OWN -- is the lack of diversity with both hosts and TYPES of shows, as others have said. She took over what was a successful cable show, and has turned it into crap. I really expected so much more....
n_satiable's picture

I love oprah but the own

I love oprah but the own needs time to grow in addition its not alot of diversity within the programs....
jj's picture

i changed my cable packages,

i changed my cable packages, which no longer includes OWN, and i havent missed it at all! i actually miss Discovery Health. her network isnt really original, other than her own reality show about her only real successful show (her own!). like natasha, i loved the behind the scenes episodes. all the other shows seem to pulled from other networks and episodes ive seen somewhere else already like TLC, WE etc. if she wants to survive, she better start getting creative.
myMAMAsaid's picture

Love Oprah and OWN, but I

Love Oprah and OWN, but I want to see diversity on her network, PERIOD. People like to see themselves and by not having diversity her network is no different from a lot of other networks.
iolastar's picture

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Big Girl's picture

The problem is that people

The problem is that people have to pay extra on their cable bill just to watch her network. With unemployment as high as it is, many are eliminating unnecessary expenses, and I'm sure reducing a cable bill is one of the first to go. If she had the same time frame as her tv show and people didn't have to pay extra to watch it, I think she would get better ratings. I love Oprah but my basic cable package will do just fine. As long as I can keep working and saving money, I'm good.
Anonymous's picture

exacly that's the reason I

exacly that's the reason I don't have OWN. I downgraded to the basic service and I no longer have OWN as an option. Cable prices are through the roof ridiculous.
Anonymous's picture

I for one can identify with

I for one can identify with extra bills and cutting back, but if you kept the internet you can watch cable for free on your computer...FYI
Selectfew60's picture

Really? How??

Really? How??
Anonymous's picture

See the thing is Oprah had a

See the thing is Oprah had a successful "Television Show" and while millions of Americans tuned into see "Her" show at the end of that hour they had a variety of other choices they could make, even on just that channel not to mention other networks. I guess what i'm saying is she should consider stepping out of the box with the programming, because while we all for he most part like GOOD stuff, theres a side of us that needs a lil dark entertainment as well...#i'm just saying
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MrCashCrate's picture

She needs to Hire Iyanla

She needs to Hire Iyanla Vanzant .when she was on oprah to talk about the feud she had so much personality. i know oprah is not gonna do it but she should reconsider
Barone's picture

As with all things new,

As with all things new, getting her network to the full swing stage will take a while. Oprah is well know for uber classy television content, but with a venture of this magnitude she just may have to consider a few programs that would/could be considered dark, not sleezy(there is a difference). Perhaps a family with a demographic cross between Dynasty and Good Times(somebody pick Oprah off the floor...lol) anyway you get my point. Everyone on this planet has a "DARK" side and with that being said, if she can brush that element, she'll be well on her way to what we already know her to be capable of.....GREATNESS!!!
Selectfew60's picture

THE OWN NETWORK ,SHOULD HAVE

THE OWN NETWORK ,SHOULD HAVE WOMEN EMPOWERMENT REALITY SHOWS ,THAT TEACH WOMEN THAT HOW TO REACH TO OPRAH'S LEVEL OF POWER AND RESPECT WITHOUT BREAKING THE OTHER WOMAN DOWN .I'D DEFINITELY WATCH A SHOW CALLED "THE POWER CLUB " OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT ,INSTEAD OF THE "BAD GIRLS CLUB ".SOMETHING THAT WILL GIVE ME SOME IDEAS LOL TO REACH A COMFORTABLE LIVING EXPERIENCE!!!
MEEE's picture

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