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Oprah's OWN is Experiencing Incredible Growth Thanks to Black Women Viewers

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Oprah's OWN is experiencing a ratings surge and Black women are responsible, according to the Wall Street Journal.

When the network began in 2011, it was a home for self-help television and movie reruns that garnered mediocre ratings. The partnership between Winfrey and Discovery Communications could not fulfill its audience guarantees to advertisers, and it looked like the network might fail.

OWN needed the Oprah touch. The media mogul changed course by the end of 2012 and became more involved in what goes on air. She signed Tyler Perry, who now produces four shows for the network including the top rated "The Haves and Have Nots."
WSJ reports, "Executives there say she is more involved in hearing pitches for TV shows, reviewing scripts and sending “notes” on how to improve programming."

Now Oprah is working with Ava DuVernay to produce a series inspired by the Natalie Baszile novel Queen Sugar, and she'll appear regularly on the new drama "Greenleaf" which centers on a megachurch.

In OWN's offerings, it's clear who executives are trying to reach. The choice to employ Black women creatives and creatives that Black women love has been a lucrative one. Discovery says it is the top rated network among Black women.

While ratings have slipped for other women-centered networks, OWN's market share continues to rise.
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Source: Wall Street Journal

Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for ESSENCE

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