Rosie O’Donnell’s chat show just one casualty as Oprah Winfrey makes huge layoffs

Rosie O’Donnell

Oprah Winfrey's OWN, the new cable network announced a major restructure of its network operations in Los Angeles and New York on Monday.

Winfrey's company laid off 30 employees, leaving those unaffected to redistribute the workload among the remaining network staff.

'It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives, but the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place,’ Winfrey said in a statement reported by the Daily Mail.

‘As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step.'

Winfrey took over as chief executive of OWN eight months ago. The network has struggled to gain traction with audiences since launching in January 2011, though ratings improved dramatically with the debut of Oprah's Next Chapter, her new show that sees her travel around the US to meet newsmakers and celebrities.

On March 11 Winfrey's sit-down interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown brought in record numbers for the channel. However Winfrey has vowed she will not return to a full-time hosting gig.

Celebrities caught up in the restructuring include chat show queen Rosie O’Donnell, whose five-month-old show was cancelled at the weekend.