Improved ratings have come at the right time for Oprah Winfrey's struggling OWN Network, which was able to ink renewals during recently concluded upfront negotiations with the eight advertisers that signed two-year deals as launch partners.
Sticking by Winfrey and her nearly two-year-old cable channel are Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Target, Toyota, Nissan, Wal-Mart, Kellogg and Kohl's, according to Kathy Kayse, executive vice president for ad sales at OWN, a joint venture of Winfrey and Discovery Communications.
Since its ballyhooed launch, OWN's ratings have been disappointing. Discovery has poured $300 million into the project so far. It racked up almost $50 million in losses in the first quarter, writing off failed OWN programming including a Rosie O'Donnell talk show.
But ratings rose for the second consecutive quarter in the second quarter, with double gains among women 25-54 in both primetime and total day. Oprah's Next Chapter aired the second part of her interview with the Kardashian family on June 24, winning the time period among female viewers.