After posting stellar ratings during its debut weekend, Oprah Winfrey’s anticipated OWN network appeared to be a success with viewers. But BET co-founder Sheila Johnson had few encouraging words for Winfrey and her burgeoning network, citing too few African-American faces among the lineup of featured experts.
“The only advice that I say, let’s open up your circle a little bit more. You know, we love the Dr. Phils. We love the Suze Ormans. Let’s open up. There are other people,” Johnson said during an interview on “Tell Me More,” and NPR talk show. “And there’s also African-American experts out there that I think she should start bringing on her show that can reach even a wider audience.”
While Winfrey has not responded publicly to negative assessments of the new network, she had this to say about OWN’s purpose and goals: “OWN is the network of self-discovery, connecting people to each other and to their greatest potential,” said Winfrey in a prepared statement posted on her website. “We tell real life stories that are emotional and entertaining. We present moments of transformation that inspire action.”