Oprah Winfrey has teamed with Discovery Communications to launch a new multi-platform media venture named The Oprah Winfrey Network [OWN].
Winfrey, who has criticized some Hip-Hop music, as well as various media outlets for their portrayal of African-American men and women, will serve as chairman of OWN.
She will have full editorial over OWNs content and will be responsible for the programming, branding and creative vision of the network.
OWN is slated to debut in 2009 in more than 70 million homes, on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.
“Fifteen years ago, I wrote in my journal that one day I would create a television network, as I always felt my show was just the beginning of what the future could hold,” Oprah Winfrey said in a statement. “For me, the launch of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Network’ is the evolution of the work I’ve been doing on television all these years and a natural extension of my show.”
The network will target women, men and their families, encouraging them to “live their best lives, and by doing so, lift the lives of those around them in ever-widening circles.”
OWN is currently seeking a CEO to oversee the day-to-day operations of the venture immediately.
Various rappers have criticized Winfrey, claiming that her Oprah Winfrey television show tends to cast Hip-Hop music in a negative light.
Rappers like Ludacris, 50 Cent, Ice Cube and others have named checked Winfrey in songs and interviews.
“I listen to some Hip-Hop. I’ve been accused of not liking Hip-Hop and that’s just not true,” Winfrey said. “I got a little 50 [Cent] in my iPod. I really do. I like ‘In Da Club.’ Have you heard the beat to ‘In Da Club’? Love that, love Jay-Z, love Kanye, love Mary J. Mary J. is one of my friends.”