October 28, 2008

Maria Grasso Named Senior Vice President Programming OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Maria Grasso has been named senior vice president, programming for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. A highly regarded television executive, Ms. Grasso has been credited with creating defining broadcast and cable series hits such as "Army Wives,""One Tree Hill," and "Everwood."

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In her new role, Ms. Grasso joins Nina Wass in overseeing development of scripted, alternative, short and long-form programming. Ms. Grasso and Ms. Wass will also manage the creative department, production, and scheduling.

"Maria brings to the table an exceptional track record and desire to contribute to the world through television in a whole new way," said Robin Schwartz, president of OWN, to whom she will report. "Together Maria and Nina will be a dynamic creative team. We are on our way."

Ms. Grasso joins OWN from Lifetime Television where she was senior vice president, series development and current programming since 2006, responsible for all scripted series. During her tenure, she developed and oversaw the smash hit drama "Army Wives," the most successful series in the network's 24-year history. She also developed the new sitcom "Rita Rocks," starring Nicole Sullivan, Richard Ruccolo and Tisha Campbell-Martin.

Prior, she served as senior vice president, drama development, WB, where she was instrumental in developing primetime series such as "Supernatural,""Everwood," and "One Tree Hill." Before that, she was executive vice president, development, for Will Vinton Studios, supervising the productions of "The PJs" and "Gary and Mike."

Ms. Grasso held the role of senior vice president, comedy development, at both Warner Brothers Television and Universal Television and began her career at MTV Networks where her position included director of development at Comedy Central.

Ms. Grasso earned a Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. She will be based at OWN's headquarters in Burbank, CA, effective Nov. 3.

About OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network

A joint venture between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network is a multi-platform media company designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN will debut in 2009 in more than 70 million homes, on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel. The venture also will include the award-winning digital platform, Oprah.com.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications is the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit http://www.discoverycommunications.com/.

About Harpo

Harpo Productions, Inc. produces the number-one-rated, award-winning "The Oprah Winfrey Show"; creates and develops original TV programming for primetime, syndication and cable television; and operates Oprah.com (http://www.oprah.com/), a premier lifestyle website. Harpo Print, LLC and Hearst Magazines publish the monthly O, The Oprah Magazine and quarterly O at Home publications. Harpo Films, Inc. produces feature films as well as top-rated telefilms under the "Oprah Winfrey Presents" banner. Harpo Radio, Inc. produces Oprah & Friends (XM channel 156, Sirius channel 195) on Sirius XM Radio.

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OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network

CONTACT: Nicole Nichols, +1-424-204-1812,[email protected], or Beth Gebhard, +1-818-729-7556,[email protected], both of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network,Communications and Strategy

Web site: http://www.discovery.com/http://www.discoverycommunications.com/http://www.oprah.com/