Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
OWN co-presidents Sheri Salata and Erik Logan continued to put a positive spin on the embattled network’s forecast, appearing this afternoon at TCA to echo comments a few days ago by Discovery Networks CEO David Zaslav. “Sheri and I are very encouraged by what’s happened and what we’ve established over the past year,” Logan said. “We’ve established ourselves with original programming on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.” He boasted that Oprah Winfrey Network has had three successive quarters of year-over-year growth, “and we’re up double digits in primetime and total day overt last year.” Logan further noted that OWN has experienced 28 consecutive weeks of ratings growth. Of course, the network’s numbers had been so skimpy they really had nowhere to go but up.
OWN Announces Fall Lineup, Adds New Series
OWN Should Be Profitable In Late 2013, Discovery Chief Says
Chance Patterson, previously VP International Communications at Discovery Communications, has been hired as SVP Corporate Affairs and Communications at Harpo Studios. He will manage Harpo’s external and internal communications functions, including corporate communications and media relations, and report to Harpo and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network presidents Sheri Salata and Erik Logan. Patterson succeeds Lisa Halliday, who left her post as Harpo’s head of communications and strategy earlier this month after 12 years with the company. Before Discovery, where he oversaw communications strategy for 21 international TV brands, Patterson was VP Corporate Communications and Government Affairs at Sirius XM Radio.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
TCA: OWN Announces Premiere Dates For ‘Rosie’ & ‘OWN Your Life’
Oprah Winfrey blew through the TCA press tour today to address critics at a morning session promoting OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, having been freshly installed as CEO of the network owned by Discovery Communications. She’d acknowledged earlier this summer that she hadn’t been dedicating all of her energies to OWN and aimed to change that going forward, in part to address its growing pains in the form of falling ratings. ”In my new role, I am focusing on the unity of Harpo and OWN, aligning them together,” she told the gathered critics. To that end, she introduced OWN’s new co-presidents Sheri Salata and Erik Logan, former heads at Harpo Studios who joined the new network in June. It’s no secret that OWN has struggled to find its footing and an identity, with a lineup of cheesy reality shows and little programming flow. Key to that new push is the hiring of Rosie O’Donnell, whom Winfrey also introduced today.
O’Donnell charmed the room with her wisecracking, no-nonsense style, discussing how her coming to OWN went down when she’d been courted by much larger and deeper-pocketed networks. ”I called my agent and told him to call the Oprah people, because I wanted to go to OWN,” she said. “And you know how agents only care about what you want to do, not finances? My agent was thrilled that I wanted to go to basic cable and not one of the major networks. … Oprah came in with a bunch of people from her staff and asked, ‘Why do you want to do this?’ And I’m like, ‘Because it’s you.’ With Oprah, it’s a huge stamp of approval, almost like being knighted in a way.” Read More »