March 20, 2012- The new television network of Oprah Winfrey is struggling to stay afloat. OWN had to lay off 20% of its work force in a restructuring effort to save the company. The restructuring will take place in their Los Angeles and New York offices. Thirty employees were let go.
Winfrey, in a prepared statement, said, “Letting these 30 workers go is difficult for us, but the restructuring must take place.”
The statement concluded with, “As the company CEO, it is my responsibility to make sure long term success is achieved. To achieve that long term goal, this next step was necessary.”
The company said the workers that remain would absorb the workload from those who were laid off. The cable channel has only been airing since January of last year and endured a first year of missteps and executive turnover. That helped prove to Winfrey and her partners that a solid foundation was lacking on which to grow. This was all despite Discovery Communications $250 million investment.
The statement by the network also said that Discovery executives would start to take more active roles in the operation of the channel. Discovery’s chief financial officer of U.S. networks, Neal Kirsch will become the COO and CFO at OWN. He will report to Sheri Salata and Erik Logan the presidents of the network.