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OWN starts to turn financial corner, Discovery CEO Zaslav says

OWN starts to turn financial corner, Discovery CEO Zaslav says
Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry are finding success together. (Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

OWN, the cable channel started by Oprah Winfrey and cable programming giant Discovery Communications that had its fair share of ups and downs, is starting to turn the corner, according to Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav.

On a call with analysts to discuss Discovery's second-quarter results, Zaslav said OWN is starting to make a profit and "starting to pay down the investment Discovery has made in the venture." Discovery has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the network.

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OWN struggled intially to find an audience, but as of late has found ratings success by targeting more black viewers, particularly women, than it had when it made its debut in 2011. The network recently added two shows from producer Tyler Perry that are delivering decent ratings for OWN.

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"I want to congratulate Oprah and the entire team at OWN for this significant milestone -- and we remain very bullish on its long term trajectory and our ability to drive continued asset appreciation in the future," Zaslav told analysts.

OWN has also been able to increase the subscription fees it gets from pay-TV distributors. Zaslav said.

Discovery said it had a second-quarter profit of $300 million on revenue of almost $1.5 billion, a 30% increase compared to the same period a year ago.

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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.

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