Oprah Winfrey continues to show that she is indeed where the money resides!
This time around she’s sold some of her ownership of the OWN cable network — 20.5 percent to the network’s majority owner, Discovery.
Forbes reports Winfrey has sold that percentage of her share in the network in exchange for 1.34 million shares of Discovery stock — that’s $36.5 million.
The transaction was made Tuesday and Winfrey will remain the chief creative officer and CEO of her namesake network, according to representatives from both OWN and Discovery.
Founded by the mogul just as she ended her successful talk show in 2011, Oprah Winfrey Network is now said to have a valuation of around $180 million. This is about 37 percent lower than the $285 million Forbes estimated it would be worth in 2017 after Discovery dished out $70 million for a 24.5 percent stake.
Today, Forbes estimates Winfrey’s net worth to be around $2.6 billion, and per a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, she has registered 670,477 of the 1.34 million shares for sale.
After launching with a 50/50 partnership with Discovery — who put up $100 million in funding — the OWN network struggled to find an audience along with peddling unscripted fare before finding success in 2012 due to a partnership with Tyler Perry. The partnership marked the channel’s first foray into scripted television.
By 2018, OWN was home to two of the top five ad-supported cable dramas sought after by women age 25 to 54, “Queen Sugar” and “Greenleaf.”
Now, the network continues to hold onto its audience with shows from creative masterminds like Will Packer and Ava DuVernay.
While more viewers are switching to streaming services rather than paying for cable, Discovery will also be joining the wave after having announced its own streaming service next month.
The new streaming platform Discovery+ will be home to OWN content and include unscripted programming and series led by Winfrey.