Morning Coffee Apr 03 2012

Woe is Winfrey

By damian ghigliotty

Oprah Winfrey has a confession to make: she wasn't prepared to run her own cable network.

Winfrey on Monday told "CBS This Morning" that had she known how hard it would be to get the Oprah Winfrey Network going, she might not have attempted it in the first place.

The implication is that no matter how much you build up your personal celebrity, business success is never a guarantee.

The year-old OWN, a joint venture between Winfrey's production company Harpo and Discovery Communications, has been beset by disappointing ratings and internal mismanagement since it launched in January 2011. The company recently laid off 30 staffers and upped its reliance on Discovery and its executives. Neal Kirsch, 47, the former chief financial officer of Discovery's 14 U.S. networks, became OWN's new chief operating officer and chief financial officer in March.

Among Winfrey's admitted "101 mistakes" while running her network, one of the most crucial, she said, was launching OWN too early.

"It's like having the wedding when you know you are not ready and you are walking down the aisle, and you are saying, 'I don't know, maybe we should have postponed it,'" Winfrey, 58, told CBS.

OWN on Sunday struck a distribution deal with Comcast, which will likely give the network a further boost. (CBS This Morning)

Sales Buzz

LivingSocial Hiring (FINS)

The Internet coupon business is a tough business to thrive in. The Washington, D.C.-based daily deals site LivingSocial doesn't play around when it comes to finding and retaining the best talent.

Groupon Supports CFO (WSJ)

Jason Child, Groupon's chief financial officer, still has a job as of now, despite calls for his termination. The daily deals company recently restated its financial information, following accounting mistakes over the past few months.

Charming Growth (Chain Store Age)

The specialty retailer Charming Charlie, based in Houston, Texas, has hired four new retail executives as it gets ready to expand its operations and open 60 new stores this year.

New E-Commerce Head (Retailing Today)

The sporting and outdoor equipment chain Recreational Equipment Inc., based in Kent, Wash., has promoted its vice president of e-commerce, Brad Brown, to lead its e-commerce and direct sales operations.

Hostess Cuts (WSJ)

The embattled packaged baked goods company Hostess has been asking its employees to take salary freezes and benefit reductions in order to make the company thrive.

Marketing Buzz

Target's New CMO (Retailing Today)

Jeffrey Jones, II, president of the Durham, N.C., advertising agency McKinney, is joining Target as chief marketing officer. Jones, 44, replaces Michael Francis, who left to join J.C. Penney as its new president.

Beetz's Bid (WSJ)

As Avon Products continues its hunt for a new chief executive to replace Andrea Jung, the sharks are circling. Bernd Beetz, chief executive of the fragrance maker Coty Inc. made an unsolicited offer to buy the embattled cosmetics retailer for $10 billion. Avon rejected the bid.

Dentsu's U.S. Chief (Ad Age)

Ad Age profiles Tim Andree, chief executive of Dentsu Network West, the U.S. division of Japan's largest advertising agency, Dentsu.

More College Hiring (Reuters)

College graduate hiring is making a comeback as big companies, such as Amazon, Apple and Chrysler, are pursuing more candidates than in previous years.

Measured Movements (FINS)

New technologies called auto-analytics are allowing users to gather detailed data about their every move at work.

Buzz Around the Office

Bloomberg's Inner Circle 2012 (YouTube)

It's a Bloomberg party!

List of the Day: Avoiding Burnout

You're wrong if you think burnout only happens to the plus-40 set. Here's how to avoid it at an early age.

1. Know when to take a break, and take one.

2. Be prepared for the low times and how you will handle them.

3. Take time to be on your own.

(Source: Forbes)



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