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Long-serving OWN co-president exits

North American cable channel OWN is saying goodbye to co-president Sheri Salata (below, left), who is exiting to create a content and brands company.

Sheri SalataErik Logan (pictured, below) will become sole president of the Oprah Winfrey-backed network, of which Discovery Communications has co-ownership.

Salata is a long-time Winfrey associate, producing The Oprah Winfrey Show after joining the latter’s Harpo Productions in 1995 and exec producing the talk show until its end in 2011.

She is leaving to create a “brand innovation agency and content/story platform”, with Winfrey’s Oprah Media Group and OWN both signed on as clients.

She had been co-president of OWN along with Logan since 2011, and the pair are credited with stabilising the network, which had a difficult start with various managers and producers leaving during the early days.

Erik LoganSalata has overseen the creation of popular soaps such as Love Thy Neighbor and other scripted series, including the upcoming Queen Sugar.

“I give my deep thanks and appreciation to Sheri not only for helping to create a strong platform of growth for OWN and our digital business, but for her tireless commitment and sacrifice producing the final years of The Oprah Winfrey Show,” said Winfrey, adding: “It was an unparalleled time of our lives.”

“It’s time to take what has been the ride of my life to the next level in creating my own agency and doing what I love best – telling stories,” said Salata. “Oprah has been my North Star and spiritual mentor for 20 years and her faith in me and this next venture means everything.”

New chief Logan has been with Winfrey’s media business since 2008, initially at Harpo. Salata said he and the OWN team were “the best in the business”.