Nsenga K. Burton says Oprah’s OWN Will Succeed
Look up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Oprah Winfrey, television’s super-shero — the woman who dragged talk television out of the abyss of daytime tomfoolery and crafted a talk show so spirited and engaging that the free world bought into a kinder, gentler talk-show model in which change was, in fact, a good thing.
Winfrey’s willingness to try a new approach to daytime television — segments that attempted to address topics with dignity and treat guests with kindness and respect — became the blueprint for success in daytime television. The Oprah Winfrey Show was a talk show that mattered, making television history with record-breaking ratings and popularity, while propelling Winfrey to billionaire status.
After 25 years of surefire success, Winfrey decided to test the waters by trading in a talk show for a network. On New Year’s Day of 2011, Winfrey officially launched OWN, promising to provide “original series and specials, all focused on entertaining, informing and inspiring people to live their best lives.”
Fast-forward to 2012, and Winfrey has been in the professional fight of her life, keeping a network going that has been plagued by low ratings and bad press. You may recall what many thought was the premature firing of industry veteran and then-OWN CEO Christina Norman in May 2011 because of those low ratings. Other high-profile incidents include Winfrey’s Twitter fiasco, the firing of 30 employees, pulling Rosie O’Donnell’s much-hyped but mostly flat talk show and admitting to her mistakes in the first year of the show.
What folks haven’t been talking about is the comeback story that is in the works with the recent success of Sweetie Pie’s, the network’s highest-rated show, according to Adweek. Winfrey, a woman who can never be counted out, is regrouping and finding her footing with programming that inspires people to live their best lives — people like Sweetie Pie’s owner Robbie Montgomery, who is chasing her dream of building a new restaurant and including her complicated family in the process.
SOURCE: The Root
Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D.
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