Oprah Replaces OWN CEO, Says Network Is "Not Where I Want It to Be"
The Oprah Winfrey Network announced Friday that Discovery executive Peter Liguori will replace Christina Norman as CEO.
News of Norman's ousting arrives less than five months after OWN's debut. The channel since then has averaged a small 283,000 viewers in prime time, and in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, posted shortly after the news broke, Winfrey admitted that the network was "not where I want it to be."
But the daytime talk icon also recalled getting advice from Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels, who told her it would take years of hard work and paying dues. "Don't judge OWN until after three years," she said.
In making Friday's announcement, the network said the shakeup is the result of "a transition from a launch phase to a more long-term focus on business and creative strategy, development and execution."
Liguori, who will continue to serve as COO of Discovery Communications, will fill in as OWN's CEO until a permanent replacement can be found.
Norman came to OWN after several years at MTV Networks, where she previously served as president of MTV and VH1.
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"I want to thank Christina for her important accomplishments, incredible passion and many sacrifices in helping to launch the network," Winfrey said in a statement. "With the final taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show only a few weeks away, I will soon be able to devote my full energies to OWN. This is a natural point of transition, and I am confident that Peter, as an integral part of the launch of OWN, will be a terrific partner for me going forward."