Oprah Winfrey’s latest venture, the cable network OWN, continues to endure growing pains. However, those pains are being felt greater by some 30 employees who were let go today as a part of restructuring efforts. In a statement, the chief executive, Oprah herself, said, “It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives but the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place. As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step.”
The network apparently let the employees know face-to-face about the circumstances behind their being laid off. In an effort not to sound completely depressing, Erik Logan, longtime Harpo worker turned OWN president, noted, “We have been on the air for 15 months, and since September we have gained momentum in ratings and viewership. Restructuring our business will allow us to build a solid foundation for long-term growth.”
I imagine that will continue so long as OWN keeps Oprah on it as much as possible.