Is Oprah going broke with OWN? If not a dollar short, then Oprah is at least a day late with her network concept.

STORY UPDATE – July 31st, 2013: It now appears that perhaps Oprah’s OWN Network is finally turning an important corner.  According to news reports, including a July 30th, 2013 Globe and Mail article titled “Oprah Winfrey Network finally making money for Discovery,” the Discovery Channel’s $500 million investment may finally be paying dividends.  I will keep you posted.

But OWN had high hopes for Rosie, the onetime queen of lite celebrity chat. The failure of her show to attract a sizable audience reinforces OWN’s image as a network desperate for a hit.

Source: Boston Blogs

Okay, so maybe Oprah isn’t going to go broke.  After all with a net worth of $2.7 billion her wealth rivals I am sure that of a small country.

So what’s up with her OWN network, which seems to be struggling to gain viewer traction.  A fact that was emphasized by the recent decision to can the Rosie O’Donnell Show due to poor ratings.  Personally, and outside of the movie a League Of Their Own – there is that own word again, I have never been a big Rosie fan even though our cat bears the same moniker.  That said one has to wonder if the problems were with O’Donnell or a network that is attempting to gain space is highly expansive field that has grown to include Internet TV.

The latter is the big point because what it does is provide the very viewers that Oprah is attempting to reach as an independent with an ability to air their OWN creative content much like the old FM stations did when they first appeared on the scene.  You remember, when FM DJs would play the entire side of an album.  It was groundbreaking broadcasting that through the advent of Youtube and supporting editing platforms including USTREAM Producer, ooVoo, and the ImTOO video convertors to name just a few, puts the ability to air a show in the hands of anyone with the will and inclination to take to the virtual airwaves.  In short, and as demonstrated by shows such as The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur which boasts  more than a million views each month , or the nascent The Tasteless Gourmet Show, it is clear that Oprah is if not a dollar short, then at least is a day late with her network concept.

According to some, to turn around viewer fortunes for the OWN Network will require the erstwhile host to herself return to the small screen with her own show.   But even if such a move would provide a much needed spark there is no doubt that Oprah’s vision is on the down side of the opportunity arch.

As time goes by, this should make for an increasingly interesting story, and one that I as well as many, many others will be following with great interest.


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