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OWN: shaking things up

3/21/2012, 5 p.m.

Oprah Winfrey and her OWN cable network are making headlines. From the canceling of the Rosie O'Donnell show, to the laying off of employees in the Los Angeles and New York offices, it appears Oprah Winfrey is shaking things up.

What we're witnessing is Winfrey fighting for the life of her company. Never afraid to make tough decisions, this winner will show America how she fights the good fight.

It was announced earlier this week that Winfrey is laying off some 30 employees and restructuring the company. "It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people's lives, but the economics of a start-up cable network just don't work with the cost structure that was in place," she said. "As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step."

The layoff comes in the shadow of the recent cancellation of the Rosie O'Donnell talk show that only lasted five months. O'Donnell's show failed to capture an audience, even after O'Donnell changed the look of the show when she realized it was in trouble.

It's no secret that OWN has been struggling, but that's to be expected. Very few cable stations strike it hot right off the bat, but because it's Oprah Winfrey, people expected her network to be an instant hit.

Winfrey took over as CEO eight months ago, and revamped the programming last fall. The ratings have improved with the debut of "Oprah's Next Chapter," featuring Winfrey doing what she does best, a little one on one with public figures and newsmakers in their own backyards, so to speak.

According to CBS News, OWN got a burst of viewer attention this month for Winfrey's exclusive interview with Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, which drew 3.5 million viewers, the channel's biggest audience to date. The 90-minute special also included interviews with Houston's brother and sister-in-law.

One major problem could be that OWN is not on basic cable with many of the other cable companies. Consequently, Cable viewers will have to pay additional bucks to see it. Winfrey's fans nationwide should start the "I WANT MY OWN TV" campaign like they did years ago for MTV and insist that OWN belongs on basic cable. OK, maybe I'm dreaming.

If you can access her station, and you don't know what to watch, check out her website at www.oprah.com/own and you will see an exciting lineup of shows.

Clearly my favorite is "Welcome to Sweetie Pies" which begins its second season March 31.

"Welcome to Sweetie Pies" new seasons starts out with a bang. Miss Robbie has to contend with her messy son Tim, and his undermining ways when it comes to building her dream restaurant. Tim sees things differently, when it comes to planning the restaurant and sets out to do it his way regardless of what Miss Robbie thinks.

It's great to see this family working, fighting and loving each other and the newest addition to the family all under the same roof, and in the workplace.

If you want to catch up with Miss Robbie and her family, beginning at 1 p.m., OWN will televise back-to-back episodes with the premiere episode beginning at 9 p.m..

Speaking of families under the same roof, we'll get to spend some time with supermodel Beverly Johnson.

The new OWN docu-series "Beverly's Full House" features supermodel Johnson and follows what happens when three generations of her family come together under one roof. It too premieres, March 31 following "Welcome to Sweetie Pies."

Want to learn more about "Beverly's Full House," "Welcome to Sweetie Pies" and other OWN programming? Check out the website at www.oprah.com/own where you can see full episodes of programming and much more.