Oprah’s new cable network OWN will debut in January 2011 — eight months before Oprah Winfrey’s syndicated talk show airs its final episode and three years after the joint venture with Discovery Communications was originally formed.
“Oprah has been nourishing people through her television show for nearly 25 years, a legacy that has touched millions the world over,” said Christina Norman, CEO of OWN. “She is the life force behind OWN and will be guiding the effort for this completely new 24-hour television experience premiering in January 2011.”
OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), which had a full-blown upfront presentation to advertisers in May, was originally expected to launch by the end of this year. Then it was pushed to 2010, and now 2011. The channel will debut in about 80 million homes, rebranding what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.
On Winfrey’s show Friday, she said of her talk show departure: “This show has been my life. And I love it enough to know when it’s time to say good-bye. Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It’s the perfect number — the exact right time. So I hope that you will take this 18-month ride with me right through to the final show. So, the countdown to the end of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ starts now and until that day in 2011 when it ends, I intend to soak up every meaningful, joy-filled moment with you.”