Back in May, news broke that Christina Norman, who had served as CEO of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network for just two years, had been ousted as a casualty of the network’s poor ratings performance.
It was recently announced that Norman will find a new home as executive editor of Black Voices, which AOL Huffington Post Media Group is expected to relaunch later this week.
Norman is set to kick off her new job with a Huffington Post essay about the circumstances of her departure from OWN.
“It’s a great lesson for women, that when one door closes, another one opens,” said Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of HPMG. “There is enormous pressure on high-profile women to succeed, to constantly prove themselves. I met Christina in Los Angeles when she was the head of OWN. After she left, I asked her if she wanted to do something completely different.”
The moves comes as part of AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong’s plan to attract a more diverse audience of users and advertisers as part of his “80/80/80” strategy. The numbers signify AOL’s view that women account for 80 percent of domestic purchases, 80 percent of purchases are done locally, and 80 percent of purchases are driven by “influencer crowds.”
Another part of the strategy is adding high-profile media names to demonstrate AOL’s seriousness as a content company. In addition to setting the tone for the new Black Voices, Norman, who was president of MTV prior to OWN, will be responsible for creating new video programming across AOL.
As for OWN, it was announced last month that Oprah Winfrey herself will step in as CEO and chief creative officer.