Oprah's TV Channel Says It's In The Black

More than two years after it started, OWN, the cable channel that is a partnership between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications, announced it is turning a profit.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Oprah Winfrey's cable channel OWN is on better footing. It's a joint venture with Discovery Communications, which reports that the struggling cable channel is now profitable, two-and-a-half years after its launch.

Here's more from NPR's Elizabeth Blair.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Discovery's chief executive says OWN is now cash-flow positive. In a conference call with analysts, David Zaslav said that among women ages 25-54, OWN's viewership increased 39 percent in the second quarter.

DAVID ZASLAV: The highest growth of any cable network in the second quarter.

BLAIR: Zaslav singled out two new shows that he said were bona fide hits, both by director Tyler Perry: The soap opera "The Have and Have Nots"...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE HAVE AND HAVE NOTS")

TIKA SUMPTER: (as Candace Young) Your husband and I have been having an affair.

BLAIR: ...and the sitcom "Love Thy Neighbor."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "LOVE THY NEIGHBOR")

PATRICE LOVELY: (as Hattie Mae Love) But I'm sure gonna need an umbrella by the time you get through spittin' on me.

BLAIR: Discovery Communications has invested some $300 million into OWN, but it was a rough start. Winfrey wasn't around much in the beginning. Ratings were a disappointment. And there was turnover at the top. Things began to get better when Winfrey returned with the series "Oprah's Next Chapter." Guests have included Jamie Foxx, Usher, LeBron James and, more recently, Lance Armstrong.

OWN is also getting higher subscriber fees. The improved performance means OWN can now pay down its outstanding obligation to Discovery. As if we'd expect anything less from the queen of talk.

Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.

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