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Oprah Winfrey characterizes OWN job layoffs as ‘rightsizing’

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Oprah Winfrey, who has been forced to let employees go as she attempts to change the downward direction of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), recently described the severe layoffs as “rightsizing.”

Winfrey’s cable network has performed far below expectations since its January 2011 launch.

In an attempt to turn around the fortunes of the cable network, OWN announced employee cutbacks that amounted to a reported 20 percent layoff of staff.

Discovery Communications had financed OWN with a reported $300 million.

Winfrey, a staunch supporter of President Barack Obama, sounded capitalist themes as she described the layoffs during a recent Discovery “upfront” presentation to potential advertisers of the network.

After characterizing her experience with OWN as “climbing Kilimanjaro,” Winfrey shared that “with our restructuring and rightsizing and getting into the sauce of what needs to happen every day, I feel like I can at least now see the summit.”

OWN, which recently cancelled a program hosted by Rosie O’Donnell, unveiled four new primetime series and a game show “Are You Normal, America?,” an offering that has as its format basis a comparison of opinions and habits of contestants with national norms.

Along with her best friend Gayle King, Winfrey made an appearance on “CBS This Morning” and discussed her struggles with OWN.

“Had I known that it was this difficult, I might have done something else,” she said.