Oprah Winfrey lays off 30 OWN employees after Rosie O’Donnell exit

Oprah needs a new chapter now.

The end of Rosie O’Donnell’s “The Rosie Show” is not the only big change happening at the moment with the Oprah Winfrey Network — the struggling channel has decided to dismiss 30 network staffers in an attempt to restructure the brand moving forward.

In a statement, Oprah Winfrey (who delivered the news personally — and individually — to a good many members of her staff) had this to say about the reasons behind this decision:

“It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives. The economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place … [in order] to wholly achieve that long-term success this was a necessary next step.”

Oprah’s network is now bringing in executives from parent company Discovery Communications as a way to help give the network a new sense of organization. While it may be tempting to start chants in the street that “OWN is done,” the reality here is that there is really still a chance at success here. “Oprah’s Next Chapter” (pictured above) has become a solid hit for the network, and the interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina drew a record viewership earlier this month. Oprah also still has a contact list larger than anyone in the business, and we do believe that a good many people are still more than a little interested in teaming up with the Big O to establish a property moving forward.

Why do you think OWN as a whole is struggling — is it the lack of interesting programming, the lack of presence in target viewers’ homes, or merely that Oprah misjudged her own popularity as a brand?

Photo: OWN

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