09/05/2014 10:34 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Pat O'Brien: 'I Was Part Of A Generation That Really Ruined Pop Culture' (VIDEO)

Before there were countless celebrity gossip blogs and 24/7 updates about the lives of the rich and famous, most people turned on their televisions to get the latest news about their favorite stars. And there was one man often at the center of celebrities' stories: Pat O'Brien.

As the host of "The Insider," O'Brien reported on sensational stories as well as the personal lives and troubles of celebrities, until he found himself in a public scandal of his own. Now six years sober and 10 years removed from his television gig, O'Brien tells #OWNSHOW about his larger role in the noticeable tabloid-style shift in entertainment news.

"As a person who kind of invented tabloid television and doing what I was told -- to really get people to talk about their wrongs -- I was part of a generation that really ruined pop culture," he admits in the above video. "But I'm done with that."

O'Brien says he is now able to embrace a more positive outlook: "I'm at a place in my life where I've been through a lot of stuff. A lot. But now, I look at my day as being full of blessings. There are 86,400 seconds in a day. It takes one second to say 'thank you.'"

When he's not appreciating the second chance he's been given, O'Brien focuses his attention on other people -- but not in the same way he used to when he was a television host.

"I want to pass on what I've learned," he says. "I'm a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, and I spend a lot of time helping other people... Just turning one person around has been very important to me."

He feels he's come a long way in the last decade. "I can't even believe this is Pat O'Brien," he says with a smile.

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