Sheri Salata, co-president of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, is departing from the Discovery Communications net.
Salata and Winfrey have a long-standing relationship, with the former joining Winfrey’s Harpo Studios in 1995, ultimately working her way up to exec producer of the final seasons of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Both Salata and co-president Erik Logan were appointed to serve at the network as co-presidents in 2011, when Winfrey was named CEO and chief creative officer for the then-fledgling net. Both moved over from Harpo Studios, and Winfrey effectively replaced former CEO Christina Norman, who was in place for the launch of the network, and interim CEO Peter Liguori, who was then COO for Discovery Communications.
Logan remains at the network as its sole president.
Salata will still be working with the net in some capacity via her new venture, a “brand innovation agency and content/story platform” that will have Winfrey’s Oprah Media Group and OWN among its first clients.
“I give my deep thanks and appreciation to Sheri not only for helping to create a strong platform of growth for OWN and our digital business, but for her tireless commitment and sacrifice producing the final years of The Oprah Winfrey Show,” said Winfrey in a statement. “It was an unparalleled time of our lives. I am excited about what we are doing at OWN and look forward to continuing our growth with Erik and the dedicated team as we take our company to the next level.”
“It’s time to take what has been the ride of my life to the next level in creating my own agency and doing what I love best – telling stories,” added Salata. “Oprah has been my North Star and spiritual mentor for 20 years and her faith in me and this next venture means everything. Erik and the entire OWN team are simply the best in the business and I can’t wait to see what unfolds.”
Recent successes for the network have included the unscripted series Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s and Iyanla: Fix My Life, while the net has also garnered ratings successes in scripted via Tyler Perry’s The Have and the Have Nots. In June, a scripted series featuring Winfrey, Greenleaf, will premiere.