Oprah is $70 million dollars richer after selling stake in OWN

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Get your Christmas lists handy because Oprah Winfrey now has an extra $70 million burning a hole in her pocket. The Mighty Ms. O just made a deal with Discovery that gave them controlling interest in the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Up until now, they were equal partners, both with 50% interest but with this sale, Discovery will have closer to 75%.

Discovery Communications is paying $70 million to take a majority interest in OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Until now, OWN had been a 50-50 joint venture between the television star and the cable programming giant. The deal, announced Monday, increases Discovery’s ownership stake in the basic cable channel by an additional 24.5% to nearly 75%.

The transaction marks the first time that Winfrey has taken money out of the venture. The channel launched in 2011.

Winfrey, however, will continue to serve as chief executive of the network. As part of the deal, she will work exclusively for OWN in the basic cable space through 2025.

“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,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I’m thrilled with the network’s success and excited about this next chapter in our partnership.”

“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,” Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav said in a statement.

[From Los Angeles Times]

I’m not going to pretend I understand the business-end of networks but Discovery’s statement is just business speak for “please don’t leave, Oprah Lovers,” right? What is equally interesting to me is the article said that in addition to OWN, Discovery is in the middle of acquiring Scripps Network Interactive, which includes HGTV, Food Network, The Cooking Channel and Fine Living Network. Sounds like Discovery is currently shopping for female centric networks – color me intrigued.

As for Oprah, I imagine she’ll start pulling back from operations. I think she’s putting a lot of energy into her new food line and wants to concentrate more on her garden and Super Soul Conversations. Just given her current speaking points about how she feels she was put here to show others their purpose, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another foundation in the works. I just hope OWN keeps up with their progressive content. I also desperately hope Oprah takes Tiffany Haddish up on her dream to start a farm together. If they filmed that, it’d be a #1 hit on OWN.

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9 Responses to “Oprah is $70 million dollars richer after selling stake in OWN”

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  1. Ravensdaughter says:

    She needs a tax cut!

  2. HH says:

    I would love to meet her and the Obamas. They are the three people on this earth that I would be truly disheartened if they weren’t as genuine, warm, and nice as I’d imagined.

    • SuzyQ says:

      I suggest you don’t meet Winfrey.

    • Mia says:

      I agree with you HH. Those three people are actually on my older sisters list to meet. I would have added Ms Maya Angelou if she were still alive.

      I noticed a lot people on this site don’t seem to like Oprah for whatever reason but I admire her a great deal. She has had quite the life and had to be so resilient and strong to be standing where she is today.

  3. Felicia says:

    I can respect her for what she has done. But I also suspect she’s not the person she portrays herself to be either. The incident at the Hermes store where she had a public hissy fit because they wouldn’t let her in after closing time smelled a great deal like “entitled” to me. It kind of put me off.

    She likes her handbags, which she can certainly afford. Birkin bags are notoriously difficult to get one’s hands on. The Hermes flagship store is the one where you would stand the best chance of finding one, only they always pretend they don’t have them in stock. It’s very likely she showed up at closing (albiet a few minutes late) as a strategy. Get in and then dawdle as long as you can until they “maybe” offer you one as a last resort to get you out of there. No shade on that, the Birkin fanatics have all sorts of strategies to get one. If it works, good on them.

    It was the public hissy fit and pulling out the “it’s because I’m a WOC” in the press thing that had me shaking my head. And it’s entirely possible that that too was a strategy in the hopes of being appeased by Hermes with a Birkin. Not stupid, but very manipulative all the same.

    Bottom line is that regardless of your skin colour, if you show up after closing time, they won’t let you in. Expecting to be treated differently is another form of “but don’t you know who I am”? It doesn’t matter who does it, it’s still entitled.

  4. shouldawoulda says:

    They should go more in the science direction.