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Rosie's gone, now Oprah Winfrey axes staff as network struggles

The Oprah Winfrey Network is restructuring. One-fifth of its staff - 30 people in all - are being laid off in New York and Los Angeles.

Oprah axes jobs

Oprah said, "The economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place."

Discovery Communications, Oprah's partner in the network launched a year ago in January , is installing Neal Kirsch, its CFO of U.S. networks, in as COO at OWN, below Winfrey.

It's been a tough few days for the network, with Friday's news that The Rosie O'Donnell's Show wouldn't be coming back after a disappointing first season.

Winfrey, who finally took over as head of OWN after a number of people were dismissed from the position , said, “It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives.

"As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step."

Discovery has sunk some $250 million into the network so far.

On a more positive note, Winfrey’s recent exclusive interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, drew 3.5 million viewers, the channel’s biggest audience to date.

NY

Noel Young

Former editor of Sunday Mail in Glasgow and Group Managing editor of Daily Record and Sunday Mail. Now Boston-based US correspondent for UK newspapers including Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Sunday Post. Material also syndicated by Edit International in Florida. US editor for The Drum.

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