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Oprah Winfrey

Calms Nerves

With OWN Town Hall

3/20/2012 3:13 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0320_oprah_TMZ_ex
Oprah Winfrey
ordered a bloodbath at OWN Monday, but she took a highly unusual and humanistic step of calling a town hall meeting after firing 30 people ... to explain why she lowered the boom.

Sources who were at the meeting tell TMZ ... Oprah explained that OWN had a duty to the board of directors to justify how much the network was spending, in light of anemic ratings and problems with advertisers.

Oprah said the fiscal year for OWN ends on March 31, and she had to get OWN's financial house in order before April 1 -- or else the entire network would be in jeopardy.

Oprah said cutting staff was essential in harnessing the cost of running the network.

But here's the good news for the 30 people who lost their jobs ... Oprah is paying some serious severance ... one person tells us the packages were "extremely generous."  We're told everyone got at least several weeks of pay and some people are getting paid for the duration of their contracts.

And Oprah even brought a recruiter to the building, to help people find new jobs.

81 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

Majestik    

Ah yes, fired but paid well, unlike her coughing up say, a few mill. to keep the business afloat?

Let's all pay homage to her business savvy.

884 days ago
2.

Christy    

That is actually more than most employers offer. However, I think it is funny to say "your fired...now meet your new recruiter".

884 days ago
3.

The Neko Nation    

Oprah is the biggest phony in America. The biggest self promoting self entitled piece of trash on television today. Does nothing for the black community and is only black when she feels it is to her advantage.

884 days ago
4.

Sylenu    

Oprah - This makes no sense.

You fired these people to save money, yet pay them "generous" severence and "some people are getting paid for the duration of their contracts."

So in other words some people will be paid their normal pay for not even working?

Furthermore to that, the network is already in jeopardy it's a complete failure.

Stop wasting money trying to make even more millions, and start giving it away to people who actually need it like Bill Gates.

884 days ago
5.

vern dufford    

I have watched this network and I have got to say it seems disorganized at best. A real point of view should have been established from the start or why have another network terrorizing the us.
I would get BIG thinkers pay them well. And if on of them even mentioned a reality show...fire their ass!

884 days ago
6.

Jane    

If she wants to save her network, she's got to pull out all the stops. Maybe if she hosted her show in places like Sudan and Iraq she would get better ratings...

I can see it now:

http://www.celebremix.com/remixes/view/6528?utm_source=CRX&utm_medium=Post&utm_campaign=Oprah-Everyone-Gets-An-AK

884 days ago
7.

vern dufford    

Oh one more thing Oprah ...I'm available!

884 days ago
8.

pat    

What she really is saying is that profits are down and the shareholders aren't happy because they aren't making enough said profit.


I've never understood this. An outfit made last year, (just as an example) $ 400,000 net profit. Now, this year, the profit shows $ 300,000. So now the board and the shareholders are all freaking out and manage,ent fires enough people to make up the difference.


Ir seems to me that 300,000 M is still a profit, a respectable one for that matter. Way better than a net loss. No? Why does it have to be over 400 M this year and even more next year?

884 days ago
9.

Mickey    

Interesting side note: Since OWN is a joint-venture between Harpo & Discovery, essentially Oprah and Discovery CEO David Zaslav are the “board of directors" so you’re what you’re really saying is that OWN has a duty to me (Oprah) and David (Discovery).

Or maybe Discovery’s board of directors is getting a bit heated under the collar as debt for OWN will be approaching $400M this year.

884 days ago
10.

CLIFF    

the reason the own network has failed: lousy shows.
poor line up.

884 days ago
11.

Liz    

Nobody likes her anymore cause she picked the stupidest black president. She should of at least picked a QUALIFIED BLACK PERSON.... Like Colin Powell. He would of had my vote!

884 days ago
12.

Cathy Kirby    

That is not unusual. all big corporations pay big severances to employees that are let go. Your article makes it sound like Oprah is a hero, NOT!

884 days ago
13.

the artist formerly known as hand turkey    

Oprah needs to face reality, while I would watch Oprah when I felt like it--I wouldn't pay to watch and certainly would not pay extra. She seriously overestimated her popularity.

884 days ago
14.

Jackie    

Hmm!!!...Is Oprah paying you TMZ?

884 days ago
15.

patty    

you have to admit oprah did good, i know so many ppl who lost their jobs, didn't even get 1 day pay, or worse, showed up to work to find the business out of business and pad locked

884 days ago
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