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OWN needs more O

Jennifer Collins Nov 22, 2011

Jeremy Hobson: Oprah Winfrey’s new television network is having a little trouble attracting viewers, so the channel has announced that Oprah herself will debut a new show starting in just over a month. The first episode will be a two hour interview with musician Steven Tyler.

Marketplace’s Jennifer Collins has the story.

Jennifer Collins: There’s trouble in the land of O. The Oprah Winfrey Network has lost three-quarters of the viewers who tuned into its debut.

Lisa Bradner is with the marketing firm Geomentum. She says that’s partly because the network lacks…Oprah.

Lisa Bradner: Without Oprah’s presence, I think people are missing the piece of the brand they most relate to.

And the network’s slump has extended to Oprah’s website and magazine. At the same time, Oprah has taken a mostly role behind the scenes as CEO.

Elayne Rapping: Maybe she needs a life coach.

Elayne Rapping is a media expert from State University of New York at Buffalo.

Rapping: She needs to be on television in order to get people to consume her other products.

Oprah’s new program breaks the format of her long-running talk show. This time, she’ll be traveling to meet her guests.

Oprah Winfrey: We’re not sittin’ on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” in those chairs anymore.

Experts say she has about a year to get viewers into their chairs — before advertisers look for them on other channels.

I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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