Race Matters: Oprah’s OWN Network Finally Breaks Through To Black Female Viewers After Being Targeted To Middle-Aged White Women

- By Bossip Staff

50 Cent once said that Oprah was only relevant to middle-aged white women, was he right?

Oprah’s OWN Network Targets Black Women

The queen of talk now at the helm of her eponymous Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), the mogul’s channel seems to be aggressively courting black female baby boomers for her struggling network and it may actually be working.

Via The Grio:

A demo Nielsen has identified as the most lucrative for advertisers out of the nearly 43 million African-American households in America. On October 1, OWN announced an exclusive partnership with Tyler Perry who, with his Madea franchise and ancillary titles, boasts a loyal fan base of black women. Perry’s following has consistently driven box office blowouts for his movie premieres, and top ratings for his television projects. Perry will create two original scripted series for OWN set to debut next year.

OWN’s partnership with Perry follows the successful premiere of its reality series Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, which stars African-American soul food restaurateur Robbie Montgomery. It also comes on the heels of the two-part premiere of Iyanla: Fix My Life, OWN’s best series debut ever, which snagged the number two ratings slot for all cable shows in its time slot and ranked number one in African-American homes. Featuring famed life coach Iyanla Vanzant overseeing the tearful confessions and image makeover of Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada, the show’s debut success signaled a breakthrough for the heretofore-flailing OWN — and a significant point of programming differentiation.

This has created an opportunity for OWN to nab black female viewers by leveraging Oprah’s penchant for prescriptive soul work to attract this audience using star personalities as catalysts for spurring personal improvement.

With Oprah in control, more shows featuring black women found itself in OWN’s production pipeline. But unlike the black female-oriented fare at VH1, OWN is keeping things more positive — a move that has paid off.

While networks like VH1 has long built a following of millions around the Basketball Wives and Love and Hip Hop franchises, the shows’ controversial content has alienated many black women. Oprah is taking the network by the helm and targeting towards a base that craves positive programming. Black women!

Do you think Oprah has done a good job with targeting certain demographics with her channel?

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