Oprah Winfrey is no longer a joint owner of the Oprah Winfrey Network, after selling 24.5% of the network to Discovery Communications for a reported $70 million. The move leaves Winfrey with a minority interest in the company.
Initially, OWN was a 50-50 joint venture the media mogul and Discovery, but Discovery's new investment gives them an almost 75% stake in the network. According to the LA Times, Winfrey’s Harpo Inc. will still retain a “significant minority interest” in OWN, and Oprah Winfrey will continue as chief executive will work exclusively for OWN(which is home to popular shows, Greenleaf, Iyanla: Fix My Life and Queen Sugar) in the basic cable space through 2025.
“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,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I’m thrilled with the network’s success and excited about this next chapter in our partnership.”
“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,” Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslavf stated.
This is the first time Oprah has cashed out since the channel's launch in 2011. Something tells me that Winfrey’s Harpo Inc. is cooking up something BIG. Watch this space!