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Discovery Communications now has a majority stake in Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN, paying $70 million to increase its interest in the company to nearly 75 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“This transaction allows Discovery and Oprah to unlock more value from our partnership, extends once more her commitment to the network, and lets us continue our strong work together to nourish OWN viewers with the content they love,” Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav said in a statement.

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Prior to this, the two companies had a 50-50 business relationship in their joint venture, which launched in 2011. This is the first time that the former talk show queen has taken money out of the partnership. What has not changed, however, is that Oprah will serve as the chief executive of OWN. She will also work exclusively for OWN through 2025 in this new chapter of their relationship. “Creating OWN and seeing it flourish, supported by Discovery and a rapidly growing group of the finest storytellers in film and television, is one of my proudest achievements,” Oprah said in the joint statement. “I’m thrilled with the network’s success and excited about this next chapter in our partnership.”

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OWN is now the top rated network for African American women, overcoming low rating and a struggle to find its voice when the network launched. Increasingly popular series, like “Greenleaf” and “Queen Sugar,” have boosted ratings for OWN. At the same time, working with talented partners, such as producer Tyler Perry and director Ava DuVernay, have helped the network attract more viewers.

SOURCE:  Los Angeles Times

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