“Dont’ allow yourself to be overwhelmed,” Oprah Winfrey wrote Monday to fans on her Facebook page. But she also seemed to be giving herself a public pep talk now that she has assumed the full-time job of CEO of OWN, her struggling cable network. “I have faith that if I do what I’m supposed to—allow it to serve my purpose, and you, the viewer—it will succeed,” she wrote.
That’s vintage Oprah. Calm but admittedly technologically challenged (she didn’t know you could play music wirelessly in your house from your iPad), Winfrey has been on the job for a week, sitting in on endless meetings, merging her staffs from both Harpo Productions and OWN, and figuring out how to lift the ratings for her network. And what has she learned? “It’s 10 times harder than doing my daily show,” she wrote. “Doing that show felt like breathing everyday. Now I’m in so many meetings I sometimes have to step out and catch a breath.”
But she is undaunted. I see every challenge as an opportunity,” she wrote. “So no shortage of opportunities here.”
That’s more vintage Oprah – and maybe it will inspire some of the OWN’s new shows, which include a talk show with Rosie O’Donnell and “Own Your Life” – aka The Oprah Class. Winfrey is big on both efforts, as well as the rest of the OWN programming, and undaunted by the network’s relatively slow start. “Everyone in the cable business told me it would take 3 years,” she wrote. “Some said 5. I’ve been here a week. Lorne Michaels, master creator/producer told me months ago, ‘it won’t start to come together until you’re there.’
Well, now she’s there. It will be interesting to see what happens.