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.”
Los Angeles, CA – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that Oprah Winfrey will expand her role as chairman of the network and become the permanent chief executive officer and chief creative officer, effective this Fall. OWN also announced that Erik Logan and Sheri Salata, currently presidents of Harpo Studios, will now become presidents of OWN, effective immediately. Logan and Salata will work closely with Discovery Communications chief operating officer Peter Liguori in his role as interim CEO to ensure a smooth transition and maximum creative output over the coming months.
Additionally, all future television production at Harpo Studios will be directed exclusively to OWN, strengthening the alignment and programming mission of both companies. Going forward, Logan and Salata will maintain their leadership and oversight responsibilities for OWN produced content at Harpo Productions Inc including ROSIE debuting in October, OPRAH PRESENTS MASTER CLASS, IN THE BEDROOM WITH DR. LAURA BERMAN, and OPRAH’S NEXT CHAPTER coming in January 2012. Lisa Erspamer will also continue at OWN in the role of executive vice president of production and development.