Oprah Winfrey has always been pretty ingenious about self-marketing, even when it comes to supposed failure.
Tidying up the first year at OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, the award-winning TV host and mogul is talking about her mistakes in launching the channel as well as other content and operational moves that led to an underwhelming start.
"I didn't think it was going to be easy. If I knew then what I know now, I might have made some different choices," Winfrey confessed to "CBS Morning," co-anchored by her BFF Gayle King.
"If I were writing a book about it, I could call it '101 Mistakes,' " she added.
OWN launched with an ambitious slate of programming, including a documentary of the female-to-male transition of Chaz Bono and a reality project on acting family Ryan and Tatum O'Neal. Nothing caught on with viewers, however, aside from the Oprah-led speaker series "Masterclass."
"It was like having the wedding before you were ready, and walking down the aisle saying, 'Oooh, should we really be doing this?' " Winfrey told King of her hesitation in letting the network go live while she remained in Chicago wrapping her eponymous talk show.
But Oprah is not totally unforgiving of herself. In the new issue of O magazine, she pens a letter to a much younger Oprah, with some sage words.
"Even then you understood that success was a process," Oprah wrote to a photo of her 20-year-old self, just starting out as a reporter, "and that moving with the flow of life and not against it would be your greatest achievement.
— Matt Donnelly
Photo: Oprah Winfrey speaks at the third annual Diane Von Furstenberg awards at the United Nations on March 9. Credit: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images.