Oprah Winfrey will take over as chief executive of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, the Los Angeles cable channel said on Wednesday.

OWN, which co-owned by Winfrey and Discovery Communications Inc., has faltered in the ratings since launching in January. She ended her hit syndicated TV talk show filmed in Chicago in May, and Winfrey is now free to concentrate on her latest media venture on the West Coast.

"I am ready to dedicate my full creative energy and focus as the full-time CEO of OWN," Winfrey said in a statement.

Discovery Chief Operating Officer Peter Ligouri has served as interim chief executive of OWN since Christina Norman was fired in May.

Winfrey also will serve as chief creative officer as the network prepares her new talk show, "Oprah's Next Chapter," to debut on OWN in January. Two current presidents of Winfrey's Chicago-based Harpo Studios, Erik Logan and Sheri Salata, would move to the same role at OWN.

"We are in this boat TOGETHER in a very real way now," Oprah told staffers in a memo.

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