Oprah Winfrey Makes Discovery Health Her OWN
Merely an investor in Oxygen, Winfrey says new network will be her vision
While Winfrey was purposefully vague about the kind of programs she planned for her cable operation, she did leave the door open to the possibility of her long-running daytime program moving to her new channel on 2011, when her syndication contract expires.
"Anything's possible," she said during a press conference today. "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."
Named OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, the new channel will be co-owned by Winfrey and the Silver Spring cable conglomerate, with Winfrey serving as chairwoman. Replacing Discovery Health on the cable landscape, it will launch sometime after June 2009 with 70 million homes.
When asked how the Oprah Winfrey Network differed from the Oxygen Channel, with which Winfrey was previously associated, the talk show host said, "I was only an investor in Oxygen. Here I'm chairman and owner. This is my vision."
Winfrey said today that she resigned from the board of directors of Oxygen shortly after joining because its vision was so at odds with hers.
"The channel did not reflect my voice," she said today.
Describing her role at OWN, she said, "I'm the voice and the brand of the network."
Though she declined to discuss specific programs and talent for the new channel, Winfrey said programming will focus on such topics as "money, weight, health, spirit and helping people raise children."
"This network is the fulfillment of yet another dream for me, which I've had for a long time," Winfrey said. "It's another platform to help people evolve to be all they can be."