Discovery CEO talks about Oprah, her show, and OWN

December 3, 2009

Now that Oprah Winfrey has set a date for when the sun will set on her syndicated talk show — Sept 2011 — everybody wants to know if she will recreate the show on OWN. OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, is the cable channel set to flicker on in some 80 million homes in January 2011 with Discovery Communications.

At the Reuters Media Summit in New York, Reuters Paul Thomasch put the question directly to David Zaslav, the chief executive of Discovery Communications:


REUTERS:
Do you expected Oprah will dedicate a lot of time to the OWN network?
DISCOVERY: When we announced OWN, Oprah talked about it as being ‘her’ media company. Its a 50-50 venture. We think it’s going to be very significant asset. But Oprah is the chairman, she’s the chief creative officer. Shes spends a lot of time on it with me and the staff, she’s involved in all the creative decisions she has a ton of energy and great creativity. We always expected that she was going to be spending a lot of time in front of the screen and behind the screen.  Its a big win for us and the cable industry that (she) will be available primarily on OWN. OWN will really feel the strength and creativity of her presence.

REUTERS: Have you talked to her about bringing her current show, or something resembling her show, to OWN?
DISCOVERY: We have talked about a lot of creative ways that Oprah can have a presence on OWN (such as Master Class). Oprah has a ton of great ideas. But ultimately, what Oprah does on OWN is Oprah’s decision.

REUTERS: But could we see her show show up on OWN?
DISCOVERY: “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will probably go down as the greatest show on television in terms of inspiring people, connecting with people and the overall success of it for everyone involved. But (that) chapter will be ending. You will see her, she will be on in a meaningful way. But it will be different from her show and it will be what she wants to do.

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WHAT YOU WILL SEE ON OWN IS THE TOP RATED SEGEMENTS THAT ARE NOW ON THE CURRENT OPRAH WINFREY. THESE DIFFERENT SEGMENTS: IDOL CLONE,HOMES AROUND THE WQRLD,PAID ENDORSEMENTS FROM MANUFACTURES,YOU WILL ALSO SEE THE TOP READ SEGMENTS ON O MAGAZINE THAT HAVE DEVELOPED AND ARE LOOSING MONEY.OWN WILL ELEMIATE THE NEED FOR THE O MAGAZINE…YOU WILL SEE OPRAH 24 HRS A DAY,EVENTUALLY DR, PHIL,DR OZ,AND ALL OTHER HARPO OWN PRODUCTS WILL BE ON OWN.INSTEAD OF JUST SYNDICATING OPRAH AND SELLING AD SPACEIN A SHOT GUN NATIONAL APPROACH OWN WILL OWN THE SUBSCRIBERLOCK STOCK AND BAREL.AND WHAT YOU ARE SEEING IS THE FALL OF THE AD SUPPORTEDBROADCAST TV.UNDER OWN THE SUBSCRIBER PAYS,MANFACTURE PAYS FOR THE ENDORSEMENT.OWN IS IN RESPOSE TO THE SEGMENTING OF THE VIEWER TO 3 SCREENS INSTEAD OF ONE.AND SENATOR WAXMAN IS WRONG THERE IS NO NEED FOR GOVERNMENT IN RESTRUCTURING MEDIA MEDIA WILL MUTATE TO WHAT THE VIEWERS WANT THAT IS THE REASON FOR OWN AND DISCOVERY.THE CURRENT FOOLS THAT ARE THE HEADS OF CBS,NBC,FOX,AND ABC ARE GOING TO GO TO SCHOOL AS THE BIZ MODEL THAT HAS WORKED SINCE 1960 WITH I LOVE LUCY ON 3 NETWORKS IS NOW OBSELETE….ALL 4 FOUR NETWORKS HAVE ZEROSTRATEGIC KNOWLEDGE HAS THEY ARE GOING TO GO THE WAY OF THE GUTENBERG PRESS………..

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