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OWN Lays Off 30 In Restructuring

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN is laying off 30 employees and restructuring the struggling company, it announced on Monday.

The network revealed that it is eliminating 30 positions in New York and Los Angeles in a statement issued on Monday. Winfrey said that the decision was a cost-cutting measure.

“It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives, but the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place,” she said. “As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step.”

The layoffs are the latest development in a huge shakeup at the network. Rosie O’Donnell’s show, which debuted as one of OWN’s flagship shows in October, was canceled on Friday. Winfrey reportedly made the decision herself.

Executives at OWN and network partner Discovery will also be shuffled around in the restructuring, according to TheWrap.

The network has struggled to gain traction since launching in January 2011. Winfrey took over as CEO eight months ago, and revamped the programming last fall. The ratings have improved with the debut of “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” which features the daytime queen speaking to public figures and newsmakers outside of the studio, in January of this year. Oprah’s interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina attained record ratings for the one-year old network in March.



by Katherine Fung



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