Oprah Winfrey Network sinking fast

March 25, 2012 at 1:56 PM

LOS ANGELES, March 25 (UPI) -- The Oprah Winfrey Network, hemorrhaging money, has laid off 20 percent of its staff and could lose more than $142 million this year, an investment firm said.

Research and investment firm SNL Kagan said OWN is teetering on the brink and poised to lose $142.9 million in 2012, Business Insider reported Sunday.

The firm said OWN's parent, Discovery Communications, could pull the plug because of weak ratings and advertising losses.

Discovery invested $314 million into OWN, The Wall Street Journal reported.

OWN was supposed to bring in $220 million by 2015, a media analyst at Morgan Stanley said, but that was projected to be unlikely based on the 685,000 viewers who bailed out from watching during OWN's first week.

Even with the addition of Rosie O'Donnell, viewers were underwhelmed and OWN's prime-time viewership dropped from 1 million to 315,000 in four days, Business Insider said.

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