Appearing on CBS’ “This Morning” Monday, Winfrey admitted that given a chance to go back, she may not have chosen the same path again. “The idea of creating a network was something that I’d wanted to do,” Winfrey said. “Had I known that it was this difficult, I might have done something else.”
When asked if that meant she might not have started OWN at all, Winfrey replied “Oh, absolutely.”
“I didn’t think it was going to be easy. If I knew then what I know now, I might have made some different choices,” Winfrey said. She added that if she were to write a book about her experiences on the freshman network, it would be called 101 Mistakes.
When listing her top five errors, Winfrey said OWN launched too soon. The channel started five months before Winfrey ended her 25-year run on The Oprah Winfrey Show. “It’s like having the wedding when you know you’re not ready, and you’re walking down the aisle, and you’re saying, ‘I don’t know if we should be walking down the aisle, maybe we should have postponed this.'”
Winfrey also admitted she considered quitting the network last week because of “all the negative press.” That press came after OWN laid off 30 employees on March 19. “Because you failed at something — which, we haven’t failed — but because you failed, does not make you a failure,” Winfrey went on to say. “And when you know that in the core of yourself, you can keep trying, or you can use whatever is happening in that moment to say, ‘Maybe I need to move in a new direction.'”
Looking forward, Winfrey said the channel’s new direction is to do “what we have done from the beginning,” she said. “And that is to build one show, one hour, one night at a time, and then move to the next night. … Everything takes its time.”