It’s a mean cruel world out there as Lisa Erspamer surely learned this week…
After 18 years working with Oprah Winfrey and known as one of her most closest and trusted executives, she was fired this week from her position and told to clear out her things from her office as Excecutive Vice President of Production at the Oprah Winfrey Network.
There is some dispute as to whether Oprah herself personally fired her or let others to do the dirty job. First it was reported that just an internal e-mail was sent throughout OWN stating that Erspamer was being removed from her position.
Reportedly Erspamer was unaware and stunned at the news that she had been let go. Meanwhile Oprah herself was literallly halfway on the other side of the world in India intervewing Deepak Chopra for her series Oprah’s Next Chapter.
Though later OWN issued a statement saying that Oprah did call Erspamer herself while in India and in a “mutual agreement” they both decided that it was time for Erspamer to move on.
But whatever really happened, bascially Erspamer is seen as the scapecoat for OWN’s disappointing first year, ratings-wise. Somebody to point the finger at. So far nothing has really clicked with audiences for the long haul. Even new shows such as Rosie, the talk show hosted by Rosie O’Donnell, and Oprah’s Next Chapter, both of which had started out strong, have dropped in the ratings “significantly”.
But what happened to Erspamer happens all the time in show business. Whether at a studio or a network, when things don’t go as planned, someone has to take the blame, regardless of if they’re responsible or not. That’s the nature of the ugly beast.
As they say in The Godfather: “It’s not personal. It’s strictly business”