Oprah Network Cuts 20% of Staff

Oprah Network Cuts 20% of Staff


The struggling OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has laid off 30 employees or 20% of its workforce today as the network is restructuring its operations in Los Angeles and New York. The responsibilities handled by the eliminated positions will be redistributed among remaining OWN executives as well as employees of OWN’s owners, Discovery Communications and Harpo Studios. “It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives,” said Oprah Winfrey, OWN’s CEO and chief creative officer, “but the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place. As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step.” …

The headcount reduction also follows the latest high-profile OWN executive exits of EVP of production and development Lisa Erspamer, one of Winfrey’s closest and most trusted executives, and Saxe. OWN had been in cost-cutting mode in the past couple of months, with the efforts spearheaded by new Discovery CFO Andy Warren, who had been examining OWN’s books. In a first step, the network already eliminated temp positions.

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