The Oprah Winfrey Network seems to have everything needed to succeed: some of the best creative minds in the business, strong financial backing, a loyal audience and enthusiastic advertisers eager to buy commercial time.
But more than 20 months after the announcement that Winfrey was teaming with Discovery Communications Inc. to create a cable channel that celebrates her ethos, “Living your best life,” not much has happened — except for a revolving door of executives.
Three top programmers abruptly left the Los Angeles-based network in recent months, and development spending has been cut. OWN was supposed to have launched by now, but its debut has been pushed back to mid-2010.
Executives declined to provide a new target date.
“It’s kind of like the Death Star over there — not a lot is coming out,” said Brent Poer, managing director of the West Coast offices of the ad-buying firm MediaVest. “This is a signal that they are trying to decide who they are.”