Friday, November 26, 2021

Oprah Winfrey Sells Most of Her OWN Stake to Discovery for $35M

Oprah Winfrey
Photo Credit: Oprah (Harpo Inc./Ruven Afanador

*Oprah Winfrey has sold most of her stake in OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network to Discovery Inc. in exchange for more than $35 million in the company’s stock.

Winfrey’s company, Harpo Inc., filed to sell half of the 1.34 million shares received in the transaction, according to reports. 

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

The deal boosts Discovery’s stake in OWN to 95%, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, an increase from more than 70% reported in 2017. The channel was co-founded by Discovery and the longtime talk show host in 2011 as a female-focused network, trading off of Winfrey’s huge popularity.

Winfrey had an agreement with Discovery where she could require the company to purchase part of her interest beginning in 2016. In 2017, Discovery purchased a 25% stake from Winfrey for $70 million. The latest deal suggests the value of the business has declined as smaller cable networks struggle to compete in a streaming world.

READ MORE: The Bluest Eye: Oprah Winfrey, Jenna Bush Hager Chat About Their Favorite Book on its 50th B-Day (Watch)

The OWN content is expected to be part of a new streaming service, Discovery+, which launches next month.

Among the shows currently airing on OWN are “Queen Sugar,” “David Makes Man,” “The Haves and the Have Nots,” “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” and “Ready to Love.”

In January, the network will begin airing the former WGN slave series “Underground,” featuring new episodic introductions by cast members and never-before-seen behind the scenes footage, per Deadline.

The critically acclaimed historical drama was co-created by Misha Green (Lovecraft Country) and Joe Pokaski (Cloak & Dagger), starring Aldis Hodge, Jurnee Smollett and Christopher Meloni. The series follows a group of slaves on a daring flight to freedom.

“Underground” ran for two seasons on WGN America before it was cancelled. It will air on OWN beginning Tuesday, January 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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