OWN executive Lisa Erspamer is exiting the network in another
executive shuffle at the struggling cable channel.
"Lisa Erspamer, executive vice president of production and development for OWN, is leaving the company by mutual agreement to pursue
other opportunities," a network spokesperson said in a statement.
Erspamer joined OWN in January 2010 from The Oprah Winfrey Show to oversee
production and development of daytime and primetime programming for the
Discovery-backed network. She spent 15-years at Harpo Productions where she
rose to co-executive producer of Winfrey's iconic talk show and produced some
of the program's most memorable episodes like the Whitney Houston interview and
The network has tapped Discovery veteran Rita Mullin, senior
VP of content strategy for Discovery Fit & Health, to work with OWN
on programming and development in the interim, while continuing her role
at DFH, the spokesperson said.
Erspamer's exit is just the latest in the revolving door of
executives at Winfrey's eponymous channel, which launched last January. CEO
Christina Norman left last May
and was replaced on an interim basis by Discovery Communications COO Peter
Liguori, until Winfrey assumed the chief executive role in July.
Harpo Studios' Erik Logan and Sherri Salata were named presidents of the
network at that time also.
OWN has struggled to draw more viewers than the Discovery
Health channel it replaced, and its much-promoted Rosie O'Donnell talk show
hasn't done anything to move the needle (the talk show recently got a new
executive producer and set).
The net has seen some success with the Winfrey-helmed primetime
series Oprah's Next Chapter, which
drew OWN's biggest premiere since its launch on Jan. 1.
The series is expanding to two nights a week through February.
Deadline first reported the story.