And I was also interviewed by a reporter last week, to get my opinion on OWN's likelihood of success. I was very bullish, which took this particular reporter by surprise. Evidently everyone else she talked to thought that OWN didn't have much chance of making it. The reporter agreed with the others she had interviewed, and not with me.
But I felt quite the opposite, at least at the time. This is Oprah ... she is a mega-brand, surrounded by a team of what I imagine to be the best and the brightest in the industry. The network is loaded with new programming that I am sure she can turn on and turn off as the ratings come in, and a flexible schedule that can accommodate any changes they need to make. Much like Bravo. With some sure fire hits from Suzie Orman, Dr. Oz, and Dr. Phil. Oprah's brand equity, if done right, is enough to carry a network. At least that's what I said.
The reporter didn't agree ... and in fact said that one of the mistakes that Oprah is making is that she isn't really going to be on the network much in the beginning. Hmm, that would seem to be a mistake.
Well long story short, the article ran on Saturday without a quote from me. Guess I didn't say what she wanted me to say. I paid no mind, but wanted to check out OWN for myself and see if I still would be so positive. Maybe she was right.
So I spent part of Saturday and part of Sunday watching OWN. You know what, it's pretty darn good, and Oprah is all over it (maybe even too much, to tell you the truth). I watched two episodes of a behind the scenes look of the making of The Oprah Winfrey Show, and two episodes of Master Class (one with JayZ and one with Diane Sawyer).
Season 25: Behind the Scenes was amazingly fascinating .... partly because I don't think Oprah is as easy to work with as she portrays herself. Her people work 24/7, self-admitted, and I don't think they see much of their families. Working parents who never see their kids ... not very Oprah-like. But a great show to watch.
Master Class was very inspiring, a little like the old VH-1 Behind the Music, but without all the sex, drugs, and rock & roll drama. Big time leaders in their fields talking about the lessons they've learned on the way up. I loved it.
So I AM still bullish on OWN, and I think it was a brilliant move on Oprah's part. She openly stated that she didn't want to just do another show. Didn't want to just keep repeating her same success. She wanted to do something bold and daring, something that only she could do, something she had never done before.
I think she just may have done it. Time will tell for sure.
I'd love to hear what you think ... what's your experience? Jim.