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Oprah's OWN not exactly a cash cow

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7 May 2012


HURRAY for HOLLYWOOD, CAOprah Winfrey is “struggling mightily, so help me, God,” she says, to turn her financially hemorrhaging cable television network, OWN, around. “We're red, and we should be black,” the .billionaire multimillionaire lamented, calling upon “brothers and sisters the world over to tune in” to her network's lame shows.

“BET [Black Entertainment Television] doesn't need you; I do,” she pleaded to potential audience members within the African-American communities across the nation. “Whitey ain't watching,” she said, “and he ain't going to watch. If OWN is to be saved, it has to be by our people.”

Television insiders blame the network's problems not on African-American viewers' apathy, but on the network's poor programming, deservedly low ratings, and high turnover among staff.

“I mean, it's not that hard to figure,” Lamont Sanford said. “When you're biggest draw is The Rosie Show, you're not only in trouble; you're in deep, deep shit.”

“NOW was supposed to be the cash cow that finances my retirement,” Oprah complained, “but, instead, it's draining away my life savings. Just this year, it's cost me $330 million. If this continues, I'll be collecting food stamps and living in the ghetto.”

Ratings improved slightly when Oprah interviewed the surviving members of the Whitney Houston family, asking why the late singer was named after a city in Texas. Critics suggest that Oprah make more personal appearances on the network. “After all, the name of the thing is 'OWN,' which stands for Oprah Winfrey Network,” Sanford pointed out. “The premise doesn't work unless there's some Oprah Winfrey on the network. If she wants to retire in style, she has to work a little while longer.”

Sanford suggested that Oprah have Barbara Walters on. “They can trade insults about having affairs again, as they did on her show once, which caused a spike in viewing. People love to see a good cat fight, even if the cats that are fighting are mostly toothless cougars.”

African-American filmmaker Spike Lee also has a suggestion that, he believes, could help the struggling network: “Change the damn name! My homies be confusing Oprah's OWN with that man-hating feminist organization, National Organization for Women, what wants to emasculate anybody with the balls to stand up and be a man. Besides, no brother or sister want to watch no network that be using letters reminding them of slavery.”

Oprah thanked both Sanford and Lee for their counsel, vowing to “take their words of wisdom under advisement.”

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