FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 14, 2009
LOS ANGELES — Brent Willman has been named chief financial officer for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, effective immediately. With more than 25 years of media finance and business experience, Willman joins the network from Discovery Communications’ TLC, where he was CFO. The announcement was made today by both Robin Schwartz, president of OWN Television, and Robert Tercek, president of OWN Digital Media, to whom he will report.
In his new role, Willman will lead the finance and accounting efforts for the network, including preparation for long-range strategic planning and annual budget, evaluation of business opportunities and financial goals and coordination of the overall financial process among departments. Additionally, he will support each department on all financial matters to ensure financial objectives are met.
At TLC, Willman was responsible for all aspects of finance, as well as the evaluation of new business opportunities. Prior to his work with TLC, Willman was senior vice president and CFO for the Game Show Network, where he worked closely with the CEO and senior management to develop and implement financial strategies to support the network. The network’s finance, operations, administration and human resource departments all reported to Willman.
“We conducted an exhaustive search to find just the right person for OWN. Brent is a proven performer for the Discovery team, and we are certain that he will guide our network’s finance and accounting initiatives with integrity, diligence and insight,” said Schwartz. Added Tercek, “Brent’s deep experience in the cable arena will serve our management team well as we work toward the launch of the network and grow our Oprah.com online destination.”
Willman’s years of work in media finance also include work as senior vice president and CFO for IFILM, vice president and controller for E! Entertainment Television and nine years with Times Mirror company.
Willman holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from California State University, Fresno. He also is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the California Society of CPAs. He will be based at OWN’s headquarters in Burbank, California.
About OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network
A joint venture between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network is a multiplatform media company designed to entertain, inform, and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN will debut in more than 70 million homes on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel. The venture also will include the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
Harpo Productions, Inc. produces the number-one–rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show; creates and develops original TV programming for primetime, syndication and cable television; and operates Oprah.com, a premier lifestyle website. Harpo Print, LLC and Hearst Magazines publish the monthly O, The Oprah Magazine publication. Harpo Films is dedicated to high-quality scripted dramatic programming, and recently announced an exclusive television deal with HBO. Harpo Radio, Inc. produces Oprah Radio (XM channel 156, Sirius channel 195) on Sirius XM Radio. A joint venture between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a multiplatform company, will debut in late 2009 or early 2010 in more than 70 million homes on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.