Since its launch in January 2011, the Oprah Winfrey Network hasn’t exactly received the kind of numbers executives had hoped for. Despite ringing endorsements in the neighborhood of $250 million from Discovery Communications and hot advertising deals with the likes of General Motors and Procter & Gamble, the network – according to insiders – is greatly underperforming.
Now, in an effort to boost ratings, OWN president Erik Logan says the network may create more shows that cater to an African-American audience. The decision, a surprising one since Winfrey’s brand has always been of broad-base appeal, comes on the heels of the success of a new reality show based on a Black, family-owned business called “Sweetie Pies”. Since its premiere in October 2011, it has garnered the network’s highest ratings.
Whether or not the brand will be affected by the change in viewer focus remains to be seen. And surely, the conversation with advertisers will change. This may – or may not – be a good thing. Logan has said the folks in Winfrey’s camp plan to “strike a balance” while maintaining their original broad base.
Read more at The Hollywood Reporter.