May 30, 2008
Discovery CEO and President David Zaslav (’85) brings to life Oprah’s longtime dream
As the CEO and president of Discovery Communications, David Zaslav (’85) is in charge of the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and now media mogul Oprah Winfrey’s most cherished goal. The new channel OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, realizes Oprah’s dream of creating a network that will “teach people to be all that they can be in the world,” she said in a USA Today article.
In a cashless deal between Discovery Communications and Oprah’s Harpo Productions, Discovery Health will be turned into OWN, granting Winfrey editorial control.
“There’s no stronger brand in media than the Oprah brand,” Zaslav said in a Chicago Tribune article.
According to the January 16, 2008 article, Zaslav was motivated to approach Winfrey about a deal after his wife gave him a copy of her O magazine.
Zaslav said he plans to use Discovery’s global platform to take OWN worldwide. “Over the years, there’s no one that’s better at spotting talent and developing talent [than Winfrey] and, as chairman of this multimedia company, that’s a big strength that we’re going to lean on,” said Zaslav.
>>Read more about David Zaslav’s presidency of Discovery Communications