Discovery Communications just made a very crucial move in the world of television, as the media conglomerate has just purchased a majority stake in Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network.
After previously owning a 50/50 split of OWN network along with Oprah Winfrey, Discovery Communications recently shelled out $70 million to obtain an additional 24.5% of the network, giving them the majority share. Shadow and Act has the full details of the acquisition, including Winfrey’s role at the network and if it will impact current programming.
Via Shadow and Act:
Under the terms of the new deal, Discovery paid $70 million to acquire an additional 24.5% stake in OWN from Harpo, Inc., increasing Discovery’s ownership of the black TV network to 74.5%, which means that Discovery is now majority owner of OWN, with Winfrey’s Harpo retaining a minority interest of 25.5%. Previously Discovery and Harpo co-owned the OWN network with a 50/50 percentage split between the two.
In addition, Ms. Winfrey will continue in her role as CEO of OWN, with her exclusivity commitment to the network extended through 2025.
“Ten years ago, Oprah and I began to imagine what a network, inspired by her vision and values, could mean to viewers across the U.S.,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery. “In an increasingly crowded landscape, OWN has emerged as the leading destination for African American women and one of the strongest superfan brands across all screens and services. This transaction allows Discovery and Oprah to unlock more value from our partnership; extends once more her commitment to the network; and lets us continue our strong work together to nourish OWN viewers with the content they love.”
As news of Discovery’s acquisition began to spread, Winfrey released a statement, ensuring fans that the channel and programming they’ve come to love will remain:
“Creating OWN and seeing it flourish, supported by Discovery and a rapidly growing group of the finest storytellers in film and television, is one of my proudest achievements,” said Winfrey. “I’m thrilled with the network’s success and excited about this next chapter in our partnership. Together, we’ll continue to inspire our viewers with real-life stories that are emotional and entertaining, connecting them to each other and to their greatest potential.”
With Winfrey’s new role at CBS’s 60 Minutes and her increasing acting commitments, it’s probable that she has so much on her plate that giving up a majority stake in OWN is what’s in the best interest of the network. As long as Queen Sugar remains, we’re all good!
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