Congratulations Oprah! After only 2 years, the Oprah Winfrey Network is expected to make a profit in 2013! Most new networks take about 5 years to establish and audience and produce profit, but not Queen O! While many ridiculous critics had a lot of negative things to say about the struggles her network experienced in the beginning, I never stopped believing. The programming in excellent, and Oprah has done more than her part to ensure it’s success.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s optimistic forecast to analysts is a slight improvement from three months ago when he said that his joint venture with Oprah Winfrey would merely begin to break even by late next year. He’s impressed by recent audience growth at OWN — including the 20% ratings improvement in Q2 among women 25-to-54.
“Candidly we’re significantly ahead of where we thought we would be,” Zaslav said in a conference call to discuss Discovery’s Q2 earnings. The recent audience growth is not a blip, according to Zaslav. “We’re quite confident that we’ve begun to find the recipe for a strong women’s network” that is “starting to be what Oprah and I talked about.”
He calls OWN “one of the best brands in media, and for women it may be the best brand in media.” Winfrey is “more engaged” and the channel has a “good leadership team,” Zaslav says. He adds that Oprah.com has become an important part of the mix because it helps to provide direct contact with OWN’s viewers. He notes that all eight of its initial advertising partners continue to work with the channel.
It’s funny how they change their tune….I’m proud of you Ms. Winfrey! Please continue to support OWN!