This week New York Magazine published a revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey, reigning queen of reinvention. It specifically dealt with how she saved her OWN Network, which looked like a big bust as recently as mid-2012.
Oprah’s partnership with Arianna Huffington, which led to “HuffPost OWN”, wasn’t enough to immediately rescue the floundering ship, but OWN finally became profitable this summer as its ratings jumped more than 60%. Well-hyped interviews with Rihanna and Lance Armstrong helped, as did Tyler Perry‘s soap opera The Haves and the Have Nots, but many still wonder how she pulled it all off.
Here are some key revelations from the woman herself.
On dealing with “no”:
Oh, I hear that all the time.
What didn’t feel right from the beginning was, “Who are we going to get to do this? Because I have a full-time job.”
When I first suggested [network presidents] Erik and Sheri, [the idea] was not welcomed with open arms…I’d never done cable, and they’d never done cable.