Oprah Winfrey is launching her own TV network, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Oprah Winfrey Network, aka OWN, will be a collaborative enterprise with Discovery. OWN will replace the flagging Discovery Health channel in mid-2009. The channel’s programming will be managed by Oprah and in her “own voice,” a spokeswoman says, and Oprah described the enterprise as "a natural extension of my show."
But it won't feature her daytime talk show when it debuts. The "Oprah" show has syndication deals that run into 2011, and even after they expire, the pact announced today doesn’t require moving it. For Discovery, the arrangement has huge potential: It weds Discovery Health’s wide cable and satellite distribution with one of the most powerful American brands.