There’s good news for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network.
Despite being panned by the media for its less than stellar ratings, OWN will turn a profit by late 2012 according to executives at Discovery—OWN’s parent company.
OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) launched in January 2011 and its premiere weekend had huge ratings.
When the initial fanfare wore off and the numbers dropped to ratings more standard for cable networks, Winfrey was hit with an onslaught of press calling her network a failure.
The talk show titan admitted during an interview with CBS’s “Early Show” that launching the network had been more challenging than she initially anticipated.
“If I knew then what I knew now, I might have made some different choices. I would say if I were writing a book about it, I would call the book ’101 Mistakes,’” Winfrey said.
Hollywood heavyweights like “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels even offered Winfrey some advice on her network.
“He said nobody wants to see you come off of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ of all those 25 years of success and step right into the network business. You have to pay your dues,” Winfrey said.
But Winfrey did acknowledge that Discovery executives told her that it would take three years to fully launch the network and though she doubted them initially, she recognizes they were correct. Winfrey also revealed that launching her network likely wasn’t a good idea while her talk show was still on air.
“It is like having the wedding when you know you’re not ready. And you’re walking down the aisle and you’re saying, ‘I don’t know if we should be walking down the aisle. Maybe we should have postponed this,’” she said.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav, referenced ratings increases since last January, now says OWN should be profitable by the “back half” of 2013.
The network is seeing success with shows like “Welcome to Sweetie Pies,” “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” “Our America with Lisa Ling” and the network’s “Super Soul Sundays.”
The 58-year-old billionaire is optimistic about OWN’s future and has no plans to give up on her dream.
“Because I’m a female who is African-American who has been so blessed in this world, there will never be a time to quit. I will die in the midst of doing what I love to do and that is using my voice and using my life to try to inspire other people to use theirs,” Winfrey said.