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Posts Tagged ‘OWN Network’

New York Magazine Interview Reveals Oprah’s Rebranding Secrets

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.

 On the challenges of choosing the right people to manage OWN:

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.

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Lance Armstrong’s Confession: A PR Win for Oprah?

Lance ArmstrongIn a breaking story that will surprise very few, sources close to Lance Armstrong confirm that he used his exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey (taped yesterday) to admit that he took illegal, performance-enhancing substances throughout his cycling career–and that he plans to testify against officials who “encouraged” the practice.

Even as Armstrong confessed to what pretty much everyone suspected, he also seems to have hedged a bit, using the “everybody was doing it” defense to argue that he was not, in fact, a doping “ringleader”. Given his extremely aggressive PR efforts in denying all relevant accusations for years, we’re not quite sure anyone will buy that line–but he clearly made a strategic decision in the interest of saving what’s left of his multimillion dollar reputation. By testifying against others involved in the scandal, he hopes to overcome his lifelong ban from competitive sports so he can continue to compete in “triathalons and running events” while raising money for his charity.

This is obviously a big story, and some within the industry see it as a major PR win for Oprah, whose influence has been slipping of late as her OWN Network struggles to gain viewers and seeks media attention via moves like a partnership with The Huffington Post. Oprah clearly aims to make the most of the interview–she’s splitting it into two parts, and directly after its conclusion she tweeted:

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