Oprah Winfrey admits mistakes on her OWN cable channel
By LYNN ELBER January 1, 2012 8:52PM
FILE - In this April 14, 2011 file publicity image released by OWN, Oprah Winfrey presents at the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network portion of the Discovery Communications Upfront in New York. Winfrey is tasked with rescuing OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, after a disappointing first year. (AP Photo/OWN, George Burns) MANDATORY CREDIT: GEORGE BURNS/OWN
Updated: February 3, 2012 8:12AM
Oprah Winfrey acknowledges that there were goofs in the first year of her struggling cable channel but insists she’s nowhere near giving up on the project.
“Yes, some mistakes were made,” she said. “Who hasn’t made mistakes? The real beauty is you can say, ‘I learned from that.’ ”
The Oprah Winfrey Network, which marked its first year on Sunday, is trying for a fresh start. OWN has failed to improve on, or in some instances even match, the modest ratings earned by the low-profile Discovery Health channel it replaced.
Errors by her management team could serve as a cautionary tale, Winfrey said, adding, “I was never interested in writing a book. ... This could be a book.”
But she rejected the idea that a single year’s performance will determine OWN’s ultimate fate. “I don’t give up,” she said. “I’m just getting started.”
She attributes the rough start to the lack of a “library” of programming for the many hours of airtime not filled by original shows.
“I don’t understand what anybody was thinking. You’re going on the air, you’ve got four shows. What do you think you’re going to do by Tuesday?” she said.
OWN now has more original programming. And if it still doesn’t work out?
“I’m going to go into organic farming in Maui,” Winfrey said. “I’m not kidding.”