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Rosie's gone, now Oprah Winfrey axes staff as network struggles

The Oprah Winfrey Network is restructuring. One-fifth of its staff - 30 people in all - are being laid off in New York and Los Angeles.

Oprah said, "The economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place." 

Discovery Communications, Oprah's partner in the network launched a year ago in January , is installing Neal Kirsch, its CFO of U.S. networks, in as COO at OWN, below Winfrey.

It's been a tough few days for the network, with Friday's news that The Rosie O'Donnell's Show wouldn't be coming back after a disappointing first season.

Winfrey, who finally took over as head of OWN after a number of people were dismissed from the position , said, “It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives.

"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."

Discovery has sunk some $250 million into the network so far.

On a more positive note, Winfrey’s recent exclusive interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, drew 3.5 million viewers, the channel’s biggest audience to date.

Featured by The Drum