MTV vet is the latest in a line of defections for Winfrey’s network
Oprah Winfrey might be applying herself to OWN with reinvigorated commitment, and the network may be showing glimmers of hope in the ratings, but Winfrey's struggling TV venture is continuing to show signs of tumult.
Oxygen Media has hired Rod Aissa, up to now OWN's programming honcho, as its senior vice president of original programming and development. Aissa's hire is the latest in a series of defections for OWN that includes the departure of Winfrey's longtime friend Gayle King for CBS' "Early Show" in November.
Also read: Gayle King Latest to Exit OWN
In his new position, Aissa will have strategic oversight over development and production for Oxygen's original programming, which includes a slate of upcoming titles including "The Next Big Thing," "LA Style" and "The Eva Marcille Project." The duties are very similar to those Aissa held at OWN, where he oversaw all programming and development for the fledgling network.
Aissa came to OWN in 2010, as part of a shakeup to the network's programming team that also included the recruitment of Michele Dix and Drew Tappon. Prior to OWN, Aissa was executive vice president, TV at Ashton Kutcher's production company Katalyst Films, and before that served as executive vice president, series and talent development at MTV/MTV Films, where he was part of the team that created "Punk'd" and "The Osbournes."
Oxygen president Jason Klarman praised Aissa as "a smart programming executive who has his finger on the pulse of pop culture," predicting that he "will supercharge our already robust efforts in original programming."
OWN did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for comment.