Oprah Fires OWN CEO

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Friday, May 6, 2011  |  Updated 8:00 PM PDT
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Oprah plans to devote more time to her network.

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You get a pink slip.

Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications announced Friday they’ve replaced OWN CEO Christina Norman after just five months at the helm of the new cable network.

Discovery COO Peter Linguori will take charge as interim CEO of the women’s themed network, which has been beset by flagging ratings, Reuters reported.

In a staff memo leaked to the wire service, Winfrey thanked Norman for “many sacrifices in helping to launch the network.”

But she said the OWN board had deemed it “necessary that we have a different kind of leadership in place for the next phase of OWN’s growth.”

"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,” Winfrey added in a statement.

In an interview with EW.com Friday, Winfrey acknowledged she faces challenges in turning around the channel’s performance.

“It’s not where I want it to be,” she told EW, though she said she was heartened by a conversation with “SNL” boss Lorne Michaels, who once told her it would take three years to “pay my dues.”

“And when I think I’ve learned as much as I need to know, I’ll be hit with something else,” Winfrey said.

Selected Reading: Reuters, EW, THR
 

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