The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which hit cable airwaves in 2011, has been doing quite well lately. In fact, thanks to an increase in show offerings catered to African American women, the network, which partnered with Discovery Communications, has rebounded from getting off to a rocky start and is now rated number one in African American female households.
The Hallmark, Lifetime, BET and Oxygen networks which also offer Black programming currently trail behind.
In an online article, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that OWNs average prime-time viewership has grown roughly 30% in the past two years to 537,000, even as many cable networks have suffered declines.
But things werent always good over at the billionaire media moguls network. By years end of the networks 2011 debut, we reported that the network was underperforming.
By summer of 2011, Winfrey named herself CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the network after replacing Christina Norman who was originally named CEO. Later, thanks to the premiere of Sweetie Pies, a spirited series about matriarch and entrepreneur Robbie Montgomery and her St. Louis-based family-owned restaurants, the network bounced back. Several other shows catering to women and Black audiences followed, leading to a surge in ratings.
Queen Sugar, starring actress Lynn Whitfield and Greenleaf, a drama starring Winfrey herself, are the newest shows expected to debut on the network.