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OWN: Approaching $100M

Global media leader and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey

Global media leader and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey Credit: (c) 2009 Harpo, Inc.

Back from TCA to this news: Discovery Communications, half-owner of Oprah's new network, to bow (maybe) next year, said yesterday it has spent $75 million on start-up costs and is fast approaching the $100-million mark. There - naturally - seems to be some press insinuation that it's burning through cash, and that's not good. But ... it would be interesting to see where the money is going. Programming, certainly, but there are a vast number of below-the-radar expenses that could consume this money, and thus, $75 million - for all I know - isn't that out of line at this point in the start-up's history. Nevertheless, OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network - which has also burned through managers, too - seems to have been burdened with a sense from the very beginning that a cloud hangs over the whole initiative. Yesterday's news feels like more of the same cloud.

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