Oprah Winfrey Network Could Lose $143M This Year

SNL Kagan analyst: Are we looking at 'Oprah's last chapter'?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2012 9:54 AM CDT
Oprah Winfrey attends at the 3rd annual Diane Von Furstenberg awards at the United Nations on March 9, 2012 in New York City.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Yet more bad news for the Oprah Winfrey Network: SNL Kagan estimates that its losses could hit $142.9 million this year. Low ratings and bad press could make trouble with advertisers as well as cable operators, says an analyst at the research and investment firm. "We're expecting a big write-down in the first quarter and we would not be surprised to see Discovery ask Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions to finance some of the network's losses going forward," he tells Broadcasting & Cable. "Without a significant ratings boost by year-end, this could be Oprah Winfrey's last chapter in the cable network industry."

But, the analyst adds, ratings were up in January and Discovery Communications continues to be confident that the situation will improve now that Oprah herself is at the helm full-time. In an email to Deadline, a Discovery spokesperson calls the report "riddled with inaccuracies and bad information," and insists OWN "is on more solid ground with more business momentum than ever before."

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