Sheri Salata, longtime right-hand to Oprah Winfrey and co-president of OWN, is leaving the network to launch her own firm, “a brand innovation agency and content/story platform.”
Page Six reports the staff was “blindsided” by the news, and began boxing up Salata’s office immediately following the companywide meeting where the announcement was made.
A company insider said there was “an audible gasp” after Winfrey announced the move in a companywide meeting at the LA headquarters this week.
We’re told the sudden move left staffers’ heads spinning, and workers began boxing up Salata’s office as soon as the veteran broadcaster and media mogul broke the meeting up.
Salata, a former “Oprah Winfrey Show” producer, has worked with the star for 21 years and was brought into the network in 2011 as co-chairman with Erik Logan when it was struggling in its early years.
It seems Oprah and Sheri’s relationship will continue, however, as OWN and Oprah Media Group have already signed on as clients of the departing co-president.
It has not been announced who, if anyone, will fill Salata’s position at OWN.