Drum roll… after more than a year of searching, the Harpo-Discovery (NSDQ: DISAB) Communications (NSDQ: DISCA) JV finally has a new CEO: Christina Norman, the 17-year MTV Network vet who left Viacom (NYSE: VIA) last February. Norman will head OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a cable net slated to replace widely distributed Discovery Health early next year. Release.
Norman’s first interview a year ago was a flop, according to Fortune.com. Her former boss Tom Freston, ex-CEO of Viacom, was a Winfrey choice for CEO, but he resisted, instead, as Fortune explains, working behind the scenes to recommend other possible CEOs, including his own successor at MTV Networks, Judy McGrath. NYC-based McGrath didn’t want to move to LA, where the network is based. Other candidates emerged, including former VH1 president John Sykes, but Norman got another chance and this time it clicked. Norman, who will report to the OWN board of directors, will be located in LA.
Other top execs already are on board including presidents Robin Schwartz (television) and Rob Tercek (digital media), and CMO Liz Dolan.