Oprah Winfrey will remain CEO of OWN for the next eight years after signing a new deal with its parent company, Discovery Communications. In addition to locking in O through at least 2025, Discovery also shelled out $70 million to acquire an additional 24.5 percent stake in OWN from Winfrey’s Harpo. Inc.
“Creating OWN and seeing it flourish, supported by Discovery and a rapidly growing group of the finest storytellers in film and television, is one of my proudest achievements,” said Winfrey. “I’m thrilled with the network’s success and excited about this next chapter in our partnership. Together, we’ll continue to inspire our viewers with real-life stories that are emotional and entertaining, connecting them to each other and to their greatest potential.
”The purchase, after factoring in net debt at the network, puts the Discovery stake in OWN at more than 70 percent now, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It represents Winfrey’s first payment from the Harpo ownership stake in OWN in the decade since the joint venture was originally forged. (Winfrey and Harpo retain a significant minority interest.)
“Ten years ago, Oprah and I began to imagine what a network, inspired by her vision and values, could mean to viewers across the U.S.,” said Discovery CEO and president David Zaslav.
“In an increasingly crowded landscape, OWN has emerged as the leading destination for African-American women and one of the strongest superfan brands across all screens and services. This transaction allows Discovery and Oprah to unlock more value from our partnership; extends once more her commitment to the network; and lets us continue our strong work together to nourish OWN viewers with the content they love.”
PHOTO: PR Photos
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