Warner Bros. Discovery lays off four leading OWN executives

By greatbritton

Four of the leading executives at the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) have been let go by Warner Bros. Discovery, as reported by Variety.

The outlet on Friday, Aug. 19 first reported the departures of Karen Grant-Selma, general counsel for OWN since 2019, and Jennifer Giddens, chief marketing officer for the network since 2020.

Oprah Winfrey speaks during the ‘The Rosie Show’ panel during the OWN portion of the 2011 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 29, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Also leaving their roles with OWN are Nicole Nichols, executive vice president of communications, and MaryBeth Cunin, head of programming and scheduling, per the report.

Since the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery, there has been shuffling throughout several top positions at the company under the leadership of CEO David Zaslav, per Variety.

Nichols joined OWN as senior vice president of communication and strategy in 2008, the year Winfrey launched the network under Discovery and launched her production company, Harpo Productions, which Nichols additionally heads, Variety reported.

Nichols will reportedly assume full-time duties leading Harpo and continuing to serve as Winfrey’s personal representative.

Her previous role was senior vice president of entertainment communications for Disney/ABC Television Group, running strategic communications for four ABC subdivisions and SOAPnet. She additionally served as vice president, corporate communications and publicity at ABC Family, per the report.

, Warner Bros. Discovery lays off four leading OWN executives
Karen Grant-Selma (Courtesy: OWN)

Before Grant-Selma began her tenure at OWN, she worked for companies including Universal Pictures, Live Nation Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation as vice president of business and legal affairs, per Variety.

Giddens worked for Universal Kids as the senior vice president of marketing and digital, later joining Netflix to head creative marketing for the streamer’s kids and family department.

, Warner Bros. Discovery lays off four leading OWN executives
Jennifer Giddens (Courtesy: OWN)

Cunin, who joined OWN in 2013, previously worked for Country Music Television as vice president, and later senior vice president of programming, strategy and acquisitions, according to the report.

She was originally hired as vice president of programming and scheduling for OWN, and was later promoted to the senior role in 2016.

Discovery and Harpo each held 50% stake in OWN upon its launch, with Discovery steadily increasing its control until 2020, when Winfrey sold it most of her OWN shares for more than $36 million in stock. The deal increased Discovery’s stake in OWN to 95%, per Variety.

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