Oprah Winfrey Opens Up About Struggles With OWN Network

Former daytime talk show queen has opened up about her tumultuous past year.

ByABC News
July 16, 2012, 7:38 AM

July 16, 2012 — -- It's been more than a year since Oprah Winfrey launched her OWN television network. On Sunday's edition of "Oprah Builds a Network," the former queen of daytime talk opened up about her tumultuous past year and all she had to do to keep her network afloat.

"I don't know of a worse week of my entire life," Winfrey said in the two-part documentary of her first year as CEO of OWN. "I certainly did not expect the velocity of schadenfreude -- meaning people sort of lying in wait for you to fail, or make a mistake."

From her very public decision to lay off 30 employees to canceling Rosie O'Donnell's talk show, Winfrey said running a network comes with challenges.

"I knew from the time I stepped in as CEO, the only way through is that you're either going to have to end it, or you're going to have to make some cutbacks now so you'll be able to go forward," she said.

A media powerhouse for decades, Winfrey said these past tough months have been eye-opening.

"The fact that no matter what you've accomplished, that you're still susceptible to that kind of schadenfreude, really was really very helpful to me," she said.

Winfrey now realizes that success is all about the climb.

"There's no way you can accomplish anything of any value without having a challenge," she said. "Nobody rides into anything. Nobody."

Now, just more than a year out the gate, Winfrey revealed how she feels about starting her OWN network.

"A network that gets to carry your name and your vision and your heart's desire, literally your heart's desire ... you get to play out on the stage of a television. Wow that's grace. That's good," she said.