Oprah had a recent breast cancer scare and may shut down her magazine if it starts losing money, the New York Times revealed on Monday.
The former talk show queen has recently been putting all of her energy into OWN, her cable network. (Among other things, she has launched a partnership with The Huffington Post.) Now, things are looking up at OWN. With ratings climbing, Oprah has taken to saying the network has "made the pivot" to a more successful future.
However, O Magazine has been hit with declines in both circulation and ad sales over the past year -- a consequence of the end of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Even so, it remains one of the top-selling magazines in the country.
In an interview with the Times, Oprah hinted that she may stop publishing a print magazine if O starts losing money.
"I'm not interested, you know, in bleeding money," she said.
It's not clear if Oprah would end the magazine altogether, or follow in the footsteps of "Newsweek" and switch to an all-digital edition.
The Times' Christine Haughney also recounted a startling scene from a recent conference that Oprah attended. Haughney wrote on Monday that she announced out of nowhere that she had had a breast cancer scare a week before, though it turned out to be a false alarm. Her best friend, "CBS This Morning" host Gayle King, was in the crowd and had not heard the news before.
From the Times:
When Ms. King grew visibly upset, one woman chided Ms. Winfrey for not telling her friend ahead of time and ordered her to apologize to Ms. King -- all before an audience. Ms. Winfrey also did not hide her dissatisfaction with the criticism she had faced. She told the audience, "the press tried to cut me off at the knees" in its coverage of OWN, and bristled at questions about the challenges her magazine confronted.
Oprah had not mentioned the breast cancer scare publicly before.
It's understandable that the media mogul would be less than pleased with some of the coverage of OWN. Her surprise at the vehemence of some of the reporting on the network's well-documented struggles has been a running theme of her interviews over the past year. During an interview with CBS News in August, for instance, she could recount specific headlines that had stung her, saying the negative coverage had "knocked me off center." Oprah even made a two-part TV show about the building of OWN, in which the slings and arrows of the press featured prominently.