Oprah Winfrey Sells Part of Stake in OWN Network to Discovery

By Joe Flint Features Dow Jones Newswires

Discovery Communications Inc. is taking majority control of OWN, the cable network it co-owns with Oprah Winfrey.

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Under the terms of the deal, Discovery said it has purchased 24.5% of OWN for $70 million from Ms. Winfrey's company Harpo Inc. Ms. Winfrey's Harpo will still hold a 25.5% stake in OWN, which had previously been a 50/50 joint venture, and Ms. Winfrey will continue as chief executive of the network.

As part of the sale, Ms. Winfrey extended her contractual relationship with the network through 2025. This is the first time Ms. Winfrey has taken any money out of OWN.

OWN launched in 2011 and initially struggled to establish itself with viewers. In recent years, however, its ratings have improved thanks to original dramas including "Queen Sugar" and "Greenleaf."

Discovery is also in the process of closing its $14.5 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks, parent company of several popular cable networks including HGTV and majority control of the Food Network.

Write to Joe Flint at joe.flint@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 04, 2017 14:16 ET (19:16 GMT)