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Discovery, Winfrey Partner to Launch New Network

1/15/2008 5:04 AM Eastern

Oprah Winfrey has a new cable partner in Discovery Communications.

The popular talk show host, who once shared an ownership stake in Oxygen, will team with Discovery to create “OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network,” a multi-platform media venture to debut in 2009.

Discovery will rebrand its 70-million subscriber Discovery Health Channel for OWN, in which Discovery and Winfrey’s Harpo company will hold a joint interest. Winfrey will have full editorial control over and will be responsible for OWN’s lifestyles-targeted programming, branding and creative vision.  

“There is no stronger voice than Oprah Winfrey in engaging, motivating and connecting people to live healthier lives,” said  David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, in a statement. “Oprah has inspired me personally, and through this new venture, Oprah’s talent and drive will have a dedicated multimedia platform to empower, engage and connect with people on-air and on-line,”

The venture will include the award-winning digital platform, Oprah.com. This is Winfrey’s second ownership interest in a cable network, having held a minority interest in the female-skewed Oxygen network before the service was sold to NBC last November.

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