Remember the promotional blitz late last year for OWN, the Oprah network that was launched with such fanfare in January? Well, forget about all that. Turns out that it was only a "soft launch" - at least according to Rosie O'Donnell, whose talk show premieres next week. Truth is, the past year has been a disaster, with terrible ratings that at times rivaled the low-tier Discovery channel that OWN replaced. Now comes a second chance. Discovery, a partner in the Oprah venture, is airing the new Rosie and Oprah shows on multiple platforms and spending another $15 million on promotions. From the NY Post:
This isn't the first time OWN officials have had to hit the reboot button. The channel has revamped its programming and overhauled management multiple times since its inception. Oprah, who wrapped up the final season of her syndicated show in May, took charge of her namesake cable channel this summer after Discovery CEO David Zaslav told her that OWN needed her to be "all in." Discovery needs OWN to be successful, as it has spent more than $200 million to fund the channel and has sold major marketers such as Procter & Gamble on multiyear ad deals.
Still hard to believe that OWN is in any real jeopardy, at least short term, but the Oprah brand has definitely taken a pounding.