Much has been said about Oprah’s network, OWN. Although she launched the network amid much fanfare and excitement, since it hit cable airwaves, OWN has struggled to connect with viewers. Unlike her popular show which made it way into tens of millions of homes every day, OWN has had a difficult time maintaining Oprah’s vast audience.
Recently, “Extra” correspondent AJ Calloway traveled all the way to South Africa to help Oprah Winfrey celebrate the first graduation ceremony of Oprah’s Leadership Academy for Girls.
Oprah marveled, “Can you believe it? And not only are 100 percent graduating, 100 percent are also going to college!”
Unfortunately, building her OWN cable network has had more challenges.
Although Oprah was already a billionaire and a household name, she says she wanted to create OWN to further her inspirational vision.
“The reason I did OWN was I wanted to continue the platform to speak to people in a way that made them feel inspired,” she told Calloway. “And that’s been harder than I thought it would be, but it’s also been as exciting as I thought it would be.”
After her network showed garnered disappointing ratings, Oprah became more visible hosting life classes with Iyanla Vanzant and introducing her latest show, Oprah’s Next Chapter, which has been a hit with viewers. But will it save OWN?
That remains to be see, but Oprah thinks it’s a good start.
“Yes, that’s nice, a good start. Now I just need 23 more hours a day, but that’s a good start. What I know now is you start one show at a time, one night at a time… building your nights instead of trying to do it all at one time.”
Oprah said she’s “always looking” for new shows. “Every time I meet somebody now I’m like, ‘Do you want a show?’ I’m looking for everybody who has great ideas.”