iOS app Android app More

Oprah Winfrey Network Losses Approach $330 Million: Report

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/07/2012 10:23 am Updated: 05/07/2012 11:58 pm

Oprah

Oprah is reportedly facing some steep financial headwinds as she tries to turn her struggling cable network around.

The woes that have befallen the Oprah Winfrey Network are by now the stuff of legend: the low ratings. The staff losses. The high-profile bombs like "The Rosie Show." Appearing on CBS News in April, Oprah herself seemed to sum up the dispiriting atmosphere at OWN.

"If I were writing a book about it, I might call the book '101 Mistakes,'" she said.

One of those mistakes might be the apparently vast sums of money that OWN has bled through since its inception. Bloomberg Businessweek reported last week that the network may have lost a whopping $330 million since it began in 2008. An analyst told the magazine that it was the most "successful failure in television today."

While Oprah does not have a personal financial stake in the company, it is still undoubtedly a black eye for her.

However, there may be some bright news on the horizon. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that ratings for the network have ticked up recently. Part of that is due to "Oprah's Next Chapter," the new show that has seen Oprah nab major exclusives, like her sit-down with Whitney Houston's family. (The success of that show bolsters critics who said that Oprah's relative absence from OWN during its first year was a major error.)

Moreover, the network will get millions of dollars in new revenues from cable operators.

As she has many, many times before, Oprah stressed that she was playing a long game. She told the Journal that it might not be until late 2013 that OWN, in her words, "finds a vein."

Loading Slideshow...
  • Oprah In Her Many Guises

    Hanging with Ralph Lauren!

  • Pushing her television network!

  • Chilling in Sun Valley!

  • Having Maria Shriver pay tribute to her!

  • Presenting at the Oscars!

  • Smiling for paparazzi!

  • Sitting on couches!

  • Holding signs!

  • Talking to Australia!

  • On a boat with Russell Crowe!

  • In India!

  • Attending the inaugural graduation at her school in South Africa!

  • Bidding farewell to her talk show with Maya Angelou!

  • Hard at work on OWN!

  • Hanging with Paul McCartney!

  • Arriving with Stedman!

  • Dancing with Curtis Stone!

  • Laughing with Toni Morrison!

  • Hanging with Gayle and Julia Roberts!

  • Celebrating the 10th anniversary of 'O Magazine'!

  • Hanging with Oscar de la Renta!

  • Presenting at the Academy Awards

  • Hanging with Tyler Perry!

  • Chatting with Michelle Obama!

  • Broadcasting live from New York!

  • Special Screening Of Walt Disney Pictures' The Odd Life Of Timothy Green Hosted By Scott Sanders

    NEW YORK - JUNE 27: Oprah Winfrey and actor Hugh Jackman attended a special screening of Walt Disney Pictures' new film 'The Odd Life of Timothy Green' hosted by producer Scott Sanders at the Crosby Street Hotel on June 27, 2012 in New York City. The film opens in theatres nationwide on August 15th. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios)

  • 2012 Spelman College Commencement

    COLLEGE PARK, GA - MAY 20: Oprah Winfrey attends the Spelman College Commencement at Georgia International Convention Center on May 20, 2012 in College Park, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

  • Lance Armstrong, Oprah Winfrey

    FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, file photo provided by Harpo Studios Inc., talk show host Oprah Winfrey, right, interviews Lance Armstrong during taping for the show "Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive" in Austin, Texas. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France cycling during the interview that aired Thursday, Jan. 17, reversing more than a decade of denial. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc., George Burns, File)

  • US-CYCLING-ARMSTRONG-APOLOGY

    A photo illustration shows a man watching a TV showing disgraced cycling star Lance Armstrong being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on January 17, 2013 in Kensington, Maryland. Armstrong said in the interview that he was 'sorry' for taking performance-enhancing drugs during his career and that it was a mistake. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-CYCLING-ARMSTRONG-OPRAH

    A photo illustration shows a woman as she watches the CBS morning show featuring TV presenter Oprah Winfrey talking about her interview with the cyclist Lance Armstrong, Washington DC, January 15, 2013. 'I didn't get all the questions asked, but I think the most important questions and the answers that people around the world have been waiting to hear were answered,' she said on CBS 'This Morning.' 'I can only say I was satisfied by the answers.' Armstrong, who has consistently denied drug-taking, on Monday recorded a two-and-a-half hour interview with Winfrey in his hometown Austin, Texas. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A Conversation With David Letterman And Oprah Winfrey

    MUNCIE, IN - NOVEMBER 26: David Letterman (R) and Oprah Winfrey attend 'A Conversation With David Letterman And Oprah Winfrey' at Ball State University on November 26, 2012 in Muncie, Indiana. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/Getty Images)

  • A Conversation With David Letterman And Oprah Winfrey

    MUNCIE, IN - NOVEMBER 26: David Letterman (R) and Oprah Winfrey attend 'A Conversation With David Letterman And Oprah Winfrey' at Ball State University on November 26, 2012 in Muncie, Indiana. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/Getty Images)

  • TIME's Screening Of Lincoln And Q & A With Steven Spielberg And Daniel-Day Lewis

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Oprah Winfrey and CEO of TIME Inc. Laura Lang attend the TIME's screening of Lincoln and Q & A on October 25, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for TIME)

  • TIME's Screening Of Lincoln And Q & A With Steven Spielberg And Daniel-Day Lewis

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Oprah Winfrey and Bill O'Reilly attend the TIME's screening of Lincoln and Q & A on October 25, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for TIME)

  • TIME's Screening Of Lincoln And Q & A With Steven Spielberg And Daniel-Day Lewis

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Charlie Rose and Oprah Winfrey attend the TIME's screening of Lincoln and Q & A on October 25, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for TIME)

  • TIME's Screening Of Lincoln And Q & A With Steven Spielberg And Daniel-Day Lewis

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Oprah Winfrey attend the TIME's screening of Lincoln and Q & A on October 25, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for TIME)

  • OW interviews Rihanna in Barbados

    This Aug. 4, 2012 image released by Harpo Productions shows singer Rihanna, left, with Oprah Winfrey during an interview for "Oprah’s Next Chapter" in Barbados. The interview, in which Rihanna speaks about her relationship with Chris Brown, will air on Sunday, Aug. 19 at 9p.m. EST on OWN. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions, George Burns)

  • OW interviews Rihanna in Barbados

    This Aug. 4, 2012 image released by Harpo Productions shows singer Rihanna, left, with Oprah Winfrey during an interview for "Oprah’s Next Chapter" at Rihanna's home in Barbados. The interview, in which Rihanna speaks about her relationship with Chris Brown, will air on Sunday, Aug. 19 at 9p.m. EST on OWN. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions, George Burns)

  • Maya Angelou, Alicia Keys, Oprah Winfrey

    FILE - This May 17, 2011 file photo shows singer Alicia Keys, left, and Oprah Winfrey during a taping of "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular," in Chicago. Keys announced Tuesday, July 10, 2012 that her organization Keep a Child Alive will pay homage to Winfrey at its Black Ball event on Nov. 1. Winfrey's humanitarian efforts include the building of schools in South Africa. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, file)

  • Special Screening Of Walt Disney Pictures' The Odd Life Of Timothy Green Hosted By Scott Sanders

    NEW YORK - JUNE 27: Oprah Winfrey and actor Hugh Jackman attended a special screening of Walt Disney Pictures' new film 'The Odd Life of Timothy Green' hosted by producer Scott Sanders at the Crosby Street Hotel on June 27, 2012 in New York City. The film opens in theatres nationwide on August 15th. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios)

  • In this image released by CBS, Oprah Winfrey, left, appears on "CBS This Morning," with co-hosts Gayle King and Charlie Rose, right, Monday, April 2, 2012 in New York. Winfrey says she still has faith in her troubled cable network. Appearing on the morning show, Winfrey told King that she believes the Oprah Winfrey Network will fulfill its mission of transforming viewers' lives. But if viewers don't respond, Winfrey says: “I will move on to the next thing.” OWN has struggled to build an audience since its launch in January 2011. (AP Photo/CBS, Heather Wines)

  • In this undated image from video released by Harpo, Inc., host Oprah Winfrey, left, embraces Bobbi Kristina, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston during an interview in Atlanta, Ga. The exclusive interview will be shown on "Oprah's Next Chapter," on the OWN network, Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/Harpo, Inc.)

FOLLOW MEDIA