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Oprah, Pushed Out of Broadcast TV by Discovery Execs, Tells Fortune She ‘Wasn’t Pleased’

Oprah Winfrey, who started the historic 25th and final season of her eponymous show, begins the next phase of the career on January 1, 2011.

With Discovery Communications at the helm, Winfrey goes from her own show to own network—OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

The channel is taking over for Discovery Health.

Winfrey tells Fortune magazine that the courting by Discovery wasn’t easy. She recalls CEO David Zaslav saying ‘I need more of you’ in order to make the deal happen.

Not only was Zaslav demanding more hours from Winfrey on OWN, but he insisted she walk away from broadcast TV entirely.

‘…If you’re going to be in, you need to be all in.’ Zaslav told Winfrey.

“I wasn’t pleased.” Winfrey tells Fortune. “I wasn’t pleased at all.”

Behind-the-scenes details of the show the media mogul Winfrey, 56, eventually agreed to double her on-air presence on OWN to 70 hours annually.

Part of her workload includes hosting Oprah’s Next Chapter, a globetrotting interview show. “So that’s my all-in commitment,” Winfrey says.

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