The queen of daytime television, Oprah Winfrey, is taking drastic measures to inject some life into her struggling 24-hour cable network, the Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN. The 57-year-old host who bowed out as the star of daytime television earlier this year to start the network announced Wednesday that she is taking the helm, in effect appointing herself boss, chief executive officer and chief creative officer of the struggling network.
Ratings for the network's first six months have been lackluster, CBS News Correspondent Cynthia Bowers reported on "The Early Show." OWN averages, according to The Nielsen Company, just 267,000 viewers - a mere 12,000 more than Discovery Health, the network OWN replaced.
Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg News reporter Ronald Grover said of the situation, "Cable television is not afternoon television; it's not broadcast television. The numbers of people, the number of other channels that the OWN Network is competing against is huge."
In a memo to her staff obtained by CBS News, Winfrey says, "We are in this boat TOGETHER in a very real way now. And I will put my brand and my future on the line because I know this ONE team ... is the boat I want to be in."
Grover said, "Oprah is Oprah. Boy, I'm not going to bet against Oprah. She'll make this work or she'll die trying."
President Obama plans to include her in his upcoming 50th birthday celebration, and there's speculation Oprah may host next February's Oscars, proving her star power hasn't dimmed. However, Bowers noted, whether she can survive the crowded, increasingly competitive world of cable TV remains to be seen.