/// OWN Lays Off 30

March 19, 2012  |  Media Week

Seems like the Oprah Winfrey Network just can't catch a break: after Friday's announcement that The Rosie Show wouldn't be coming back to the network after a low-rated first season, OWN is restructuring. Thirty staffers are being laid off, with their duties redistributed throughout the the network and the two partners in the joint venture cabler—Discovery Communications and Oprah's own Harpo Studios. Discovery will put Neal Kirsch, its CFO of U.S. networks, into the position of COO and CFO at OWN, a position below Winfrey but above Sheri Salata and Erik Logan—the two Harpo execs installed by Winfrey when she took over as CEO of the network. The position sounds similar to the job former Discovery COO Peter Liguori was doing at the network before he and Discovery parted ways at the end of 2011. “It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives,” said Winfrey, who is finally the head of OWN after multiple execs accepted and were dismissed from that position in quick succession. “But the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place.


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