Christina Norman has been ousted as the CEO of OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s network, to be replaced by Peter Liguori, the chief operating officer for Discovery Communications, reports The New York Times.
The board for OWN made the decision in the past few weeks to replace Norman because the network has struggled to get off to a good start. OWN replaced Discovery Health but has barely exceeded ratings that network had been producing.
Winfrey praised Norman for her work in launching the network, saying in an email to staff that she appreciated that her “hard work, passion and leadership were instrumental in getting OWN on the air. … Given all that we have to do, the OWN Board felt it was necessary that we have a different kind of leadership in place for the next phase of OWN’s growth.”
Unlike Norman, whose background was in New York, Liguori is a familiar figure in Hollywood. He is well liked in the industry, with a long track record in television programming, and also has the respect of the Madison Avenue crowd.
He had a big impact as president and CEO of FX Networks from 1998-2005, building FX into a strong brand. Before joining Discovery in 2009 he was president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting.
Liguori takes over the network on an interim basis, but that is expected to extend through the end of the year and possibly longer.