Warner Bros Discovery Fires OWN Execs

Warner Bros. Discovery has let go of four top executives, including Karen Grant-Selma and Jennifer Giddens, at the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Variety has learned exclusively.

Grant-Selma serves as general counsel for the network, while Giddens is chief marketing officer.

Additionally, Nicole Nichols, OWN’s executive vice president of communications, is exiting her role at the network. She also heads communication for Harpo Productions, Winfrey’s production company, and serves as Winfrey’s personal representative. She will now transition into focusing on these roles full-time.

MaryBeth Cunin, head of programming and scheduling for OWN, is also on her way out.

The news adds to a long string of high-profile exits since David Zaslav took over as the CEO of a post-merger WBD. However, most major departures before this have come from the Warner Bros. side of the equation — WarnerMedia CEO and chairman Ann Sarnoff and global communications head Johanna Fuentes, to name a few — while OWN is a Discovery property.

Winfrey established the network in 2008 with Discovery and Harpo each holding a 50% stake, before Discovery upped its ownership over time, holding just under 95% as of 2020.

After serving as the vice president of business and legal affairs at Universal Pictures, then Live Nation Entertainment, then DreamWorks Animation, Grant-Selma joined OWN in 2019. Giddens joined OWN in 2020, before which she served as senior vice president of marketing and digital for Universal Kids and later head of creative marketing for Netflix’s kids and family department. Cunin started at OWN in 2013 as a vice president of programming and scheduling before being upped to her senior position in 2016. Previously, she was vice president and then senior vice president of programming, strategy and acquisitions at CMT.

Nichols has been at OWN since its inception, when she was named senior vice president of communication and strategy. Prior to working for Winfrey, she was senior vice president of entertainment communications for Disney/ABC Television Group following the company’s merger with Fox, where she had served as Fox Family’s senior vice president of corporate communications and publicity.

(Pictured, left to right: Karen Grant-Selma, Nicole Nichols, Jennifer Giddens)

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Source: variety.com | Read original article

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