It’s Still So Early, Sophia

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Oprah Winfrey has been quite candid about the mishaps her latest venture, the Oprah Winfrey Network, has endured since it’s admittedly premature launch last year. Speaking with Charlie Rose and longtime BFF Gayle King on CBS This Morning, Winfrey acknowledged not knowing as much as perhaps she should have before diving into the cable business. The former talk show deity added, “I didn’t think it was going to be easy, but…if I knew then what I know now, I might have made different choices. If I were writing a book about it, I could call the book 101 Mistakes.” She added: “It’s like, having the wedding when you know you’re not ready. And you’re walking down the aisle and you’re saying, ‘Oh, I don’t know if we should be walking down the aisle.’”

That said, the OWN CEO also noted, “Actually, I feel better about our network now today than I ever have.” That response was in reference to a question about the wave of negative press that has plagued OWN since it’s initial solid ratings at launch quickly plunged amid cries of bad programming or just programming that didn’t include enough of Oprah to keep viewers interested in the channel.

While it’s great to see Oprah more comfortable with her channel and its future, I’ve been wondering for a while now why is so many are so vehemently supportive of a narrative about the purported failure of OWN despite the network’s life thus far being as lengthy as the same amount of time Rihanna keeps a hairstyle?

Has OWN been a runaway success? Evidently not judging from the cancellation of select programming and stories of layoffs. Does the network have its own unique identity? No, but aren’t we forgetting how long it typically takes for a network to find that and the success to go with it?

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