Entertainment

Oprah Reveals How She Really Feels About OWN Network: 5 Other Career Missteps

Tue., Apr. 3, 2012 7:23 AM EDT
by Nicholas Robinson

It’s no secret that Oprah Winfrey’s new network, OWN, has been struggling since its inception last year. After months of setbacks and infamous cancellations and layoffs, Oprah is now opening up about how she really feels about OWN.

On April 2, Oprah gave a rare interview on CBS’s “The Early Show” and revealed that running a network has been far more difficult than she originally thought it would be.

“The idea of creating a network was something that I wanted to do. Had I known that it was this difficult, I might have done something else,” Winfrey said. “I didn’t think it was going to be easy, but if I knew then what I know now, I might have made different choices.”

“If I were writing a book about it, I could call the book ‘101 Mistakes,’” Oprah added, comparing launching the network when she did to “having the wedding when you know you’re not ready.”

Last month, Winfrey came under fire after she cancelled “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and laid off 30 people, which she called “the most painful” decision she had to make.

Winfrey now claims that she should have waited until she wrapped “The Oprah Winfrey Show” so she could have led the network from the beginning.

“I would have probably waited until I actually finished ‘The Oprah Show.’ Because from the day that (Discovery Communications boss) David Zaslav came in to see me, I said to him, ‘The thing that I’m worried about who’s going to lead this train because I can’t do it.’”

Winfrey explained that she was warned by “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels, who told her “No one wants to see you come off ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ of all those 25 years of success and step right into the network business: You’ve got to pay your dues.’”

Despite the setbacks, Winfrey is to improve OWN with new programming and claims that her network is finally on the up and up.

“Actually, I feel better about our network, OWN, today than I ever have,” she said.

Only time will tell if Winfrey’s network will become a success or continue to crumble. But she’s not the only star who’s made a career misstep. Check out some other career blunders below. –nicholas robinson

 

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  • Guest

     

    Oprah’s got a PR problem. Over the years casual observers have
    watched her self-titled show, saw her ‘O’ magazine (with her image on each and
    every cover) and now her TV station which likely had the full intention of sounding
    empowering by going with the acronym ‘OWN’. In my opinion the title OWN may
    sound a bit elitist or even braggadocios to the general public.

    Oprah isn’t Ted Turner because even though Turner had
    dabbled in several ventures before television it is still where he was first
    thrown into the national spotlight. The mainstream public first knew of Turner
    as a TV network owner whereas Oprah’s been known as an actor (very underrated
    BTW), a TV personality, a strong woman’s advocate and an active political
    supporter. Her intended audience may already be too jaded toward viewing her
    station.

    Personally I’d rather see her lose the name OWN, cater more
    to the black community and get some HD in Chicago please.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tieuel.legacy Tieuel Legacy

    It’s not easy for anyone in entertainment.  Even the best have been cancelled and let go after top rated seasons. 

    I hope that she does write a book on the dangers.  It would help others that wanna step into those shoes.  Had Cosby been able to buy NBC years ago, then she might’ve had a blueprint. 

    I feel that she’s still a success with the network.  Hopefully she continues the push.  Tieuel Legacy! in Motion