Oprah admits "101 mistakes" with OWN, vows to go on

Mon Apr 2, 2012 1:40pm EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oprah Winfrey admitted on Monday that she had made mistakes while creating her cable channel but promised the fledging OWN television network would still succeed with a new strategy.

The talk show host, who recently laid off 30 staffers at the 15-month-old network after poor ratings, told "CBS This Morning" that she had been ill-prepared for the venture.

"The idea of creating a network was something that I'd wanted to do, had I'd known that it was this difficult, I might have done something else," she told the morning program co-hosted by her longtime close friend Gayle King.

Winfrey, 58, had appeared unstoppable in her career with a 25-year reign on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," but when questioned about whether she seriously would have never taken on the project, she replied, "Oh absolutely."

"I did not think it was going to be easy ... but if I knew then what I know now I might have made some different choices. I would say if I was writing a book about it, I could call the book '101 mistakes.'"

Within the top five mistakes?

"Launching when we really were not ready to launch," she said. "It's like having the wedding when you know you are not ready and you are walking down the aisle, and you are saying, 'I don't know ... maybe we should have postponed it.'"

Now she realizes she should have waited to launch the network until she finished her duties hosting "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which ended in May 2011.   Continued...

Oprah Winfrey, Chairman, CEO, and Chief Creative Officer of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, speaks during the OWN session at the 2011 Summer Television Critics Association Cable Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California July 29, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni