Oprah Winfrey Sells Majority Stake of OWN to Discovery Communications for $70 Million

Oprah Winfrey is parting with a portion of her Oprah Winfrey Network.

The media mogul sold a majority stake to Discovery Communications for a massive $70 million. Previously, OWN and Discovery had a joint 50/50 ownership structure. With this deal, Discovery gains an additional 24.5% stake.

Oprah’s  Harpo, Inc. will retain a significant minority interest in the media property, and Oprah will continue in her role as CEO. Her exclusivity commitment to the network has been extended through 2025.

“This transaction allows Discovery and Oprah to unlock more value from our partnership; extends once more her commitment to the network; and lets us continue our strong work together to nourish OWN viewers with the content they love,” said David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery Communications, in a prepared statement. Over the years, Discovery has spent more than $200 million on the joint venture, putting in $189 million through 2010 and another $50 million in 2011.

The transaction marks the first time Oprah has taken money out of the joint venture since forming it with Discovery nearly a decade ago.

“Creating OWN and seeing it flourish, supported by Discovery and a rapidly growing group of the finest storytellers in film and television, is one of my proudest achievements,” said Winfrey, in a statement. “I’m thrilled with the network’s success and excited about this next chapter in our partnership.”

 

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