The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launched on New Year's Day, and now Lady O talks about the launch and explains that she gave up her talk show after 25 years because it was time to take on the next challenge.
"It was time to move to the next phase," she says. "I believed that even if it didn't work, [OWN] was worth the risk."
Oprah reflected back to when she was a little girl growing up in Mississippi and her grandmother told her she could not have a television set because it was the "devil's work," so she had to watch at the Sears store.
She says that was what she thought about when she threw the switch to launch OWN. "I thought of standing on that red dirt road watching television from a Sears and Roebuck store."
She says her journey has been an "extraordinary" one and adds that until OWN, she didn't watch much TV unless there was something special on that she wanted to see. She is all about "being responsible for the energy you bring into the room," and she wants OWN to reflect that. "It can be a new kind of television where people will respond to something meaningful and positive in their lives," she says.
Oprah, who admits to having being scared about taking on such a vast undertaking, says she is not worried about ratings -- for now. She is targeting her core audience and hopes to build her numbers through her programs.
"I never loved commercials more in my life," she jokes of the ads that are the lifeblood of TV. "It is a different way of looking at television for me."
"The Oprah Winfrey Show" has been on for 25 years and its host says that she has learned from her mistakes along the way. One of those was telling people that she was going to change their lives. She still wants to change people's lives, but now she is not going to tell them that. She will let them tell her.
"I want the audience to know that I am hearing them," she says. "I read the message boards. I am grateful to them. I am grateful that the first phase of what we wanted to accomplish happened. I am grateful that people came. I am the messenger, but the message is: Here is a place you can come and leave this television on and there is not going to be one thing that causes you not to sleep at night."