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Oprah Winfrey Walks On Hot Coals As 'OWN' Network Struggles

In Celebs by Emma Jones , on Tuesday, November 08, 2011, 5:27 AM (PST)
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Oprah Winfrey
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What More Could Winfrey Do?

As OWN's ratings continue to plummet, Oprah Winfrey pulls out the old network executive trick of walking on hot coals to drum up some viewers. No really, she did walk on hot coals. Cheered on by motivational speaker Anthony Robbins, the hot coal walk was part of his "Unleash Your Power Within" seminar.

As part of the seminar, attendees walk on hot coal to illustrate that the main quality shared by those who achieve greatness, is the ability to take action. It's really one of those mind over matter exercises.

Read: Ryan O'Neal Blasts Oprah, Calls Reunion with Tatum Fake

Following the circus act, Winfrey tweeted this photo of herself, with the caption "Me! Fire-walking! Last night." But should Winfrey be doing more for the struggling OWN?

Discovery Communications released its third quarter earnings report today, and the news is not good. OWN seems to be in the hole by approximately $55.6 million. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is holding out hope that “OWN’s fortunes will improve now that Winfrey is serving as full-time CEO.”

Winfrey however, is too busy taking motivational seminars and conducting webcasts right now. On Fridays, Winfrey discusses Lifeclass lessons during an hour-long webcast with a live audience, and invites viewers to comment or ask questions in person or through Facebook, Twitter and Skype. Speaking about the webcasts, Winfrey says it’s “the most fun I’ve had ever.”

Read: Oprah Winfrey Will Answer Fan Questions Live On Facebook [POLL]

Yes, it's all fun and games until the network is abolished -- looks like someone should be walking the plank, as opposed to walking hot coals. Next up, Rosie O'Donnell in a magician's guillotine.

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Comments (2)
Posted By Jay (2 years ago)
OWN's ratings are way up in prime time. Having oprah and Rosie on every evening has really helped. Also "our America with Lisa ling" and "welcome to sweetie pies" are both doing well
 
Posted By SHLOMO YERMOYAHU (1 year ago)
[IF YOU PUBLISH THIS MATERIAL, PLEASE INCLUDE MY NAME. THANK YOU.] WALKING ON HOT COALS FOR FUN AND PROFIT   BY SHLOMO YERMOYAHU         1150 WORDS She began the thirty foot walking-on-hot-coals trek with flying high intentions (and a supportive crowd lining the path) but abruptly ended it about twelve feet along the way and three seconds later in a way that defined once and for all a ninety degree right angle. This angle of escape, as it was later termed, was captured on film and measured with lasers. The information was sent to the Bureau of Standards for Measurement now situated at the Hague in the Netherlands. The results now constitute the official international definition for the right angle, so precise that NASA now uses it in its calculations. However, the Guinness Book of World Records people remain unconvinced. The debut TV program from the OM Channel was controversial from the start. Skeptics said that walking on hot coals was just a stunt to entertain the unenlightened or a gimmick to occupy corporate leaders on a weekend retreat. The coals weren't that hot, contact with them was brief, the body has built in protective mechanisms--a cheap carnival trick. Proponents enthusiastically claimed that hot coals could help you center yourself and gain appetite control--access your Inner Power and not be trapped by the senses. Pessimists countered that, just for starters, there is no such thing as the free will needed to reach such lofty goals, and for closers, that at root, all of this was just a lot of New Age crap and without scientific foundation. To the rescue: Dr. John Derderian, mind-body specialist for the University of Pennsylvania Medical School: "The relaxation response has proven instrumental in helping people gain the self control necessary to do things like stop smoking, lose weight, maybe even walk on hot coals. It may not be easy, but it can be done. What if anything this says about the question of free will is beyond me, but people do have the proven capacity to change their bodies and their lives with the power of their own thoughts." The dissidents sneered, laughed, snorted and rolled their eyes, though not necessarily in that order. The Mind Over Matter game show featured competition among amateurs coached by proven experts from the martial arts or from the world of biofeedback and meditation. Contestants would be judged first by the professionals in the studio using a complex mathematical scheme with unequal (and mysterious) weighting of the following factors: sang froid (poise under pressure),pre- and post-walk physiological consistency, extent of injury, if any, including degree of smoking feet (several points deducted for this), length of time spent on the walk and on each step (the longer the better) and angle of escape, if relevant. Also, style points were added for how convincing a smile you can manage under these trying circumstances or deducted for any yelling, screaming or pleas for help from a deity. Expletives were understandable, even welcome, but generally reflected negatively on the contestant. However, certain yelling-esque sounds certifiably akin to the helpful venting found in certain martial arts disciplines could earn style point bonuses; however, distinguishing between  the wholesome yell and the near-death one has always proven difficult. The judges scoring counted for only half of the final tally. Viewers at home had the vote which depended, in no small way, on the degree of sympathy generated  through the well-produced video packages outlining the history and personal story of each individual including interviews with the contestants and their codependents and enablers. Yes, everybody's got a story that'll break your heart, but some stories were more heart wrenching than others. "I've always wanted to walk on hot coals, but I worried that the show’s compensated use of  a commercial brand-name briquette would be in poor taste.  But it's on my bucket list, so what the hell,” said Francis Schnabel, a fifty-eight year old public relations executive. Eric Fink, an admittedly overweight thirty-one year old electrician had a different perspective. “ I feel that if I can walk on hot coals I can do anything.  But I wanna use those coals for the good instead of  for NY Giants high-caloric tailgating (party) in particular and indiscriminate barbecuing in general." Typically, the pros came at it from a slightly different angle. "You'll hear buzzwords like enhanced self-esteem, personal empowerment, controlling the monkey mind, pain management, listening to one's body, and  finally, attunement to an eastern, inner acupunctural network that parallels (hypothetically) nervous system pathways of classical western medicine. But most important: focusing inwardly for spiritual growth [whatever that means] instead of outwardly toward a pointless and pernicious consumerism.” Reams of legal documents had to be signed absolving those affiliated with the show of any liability--criminal or civil. The producer successfully lobbied the State of NY and several federal agencies anxious to protect state and country and deep pocketbooks. However, the Hague (which now appears to be, logically, at the center of walking-on-hot-coals legislation) has yet to resolve things internationally. It is worth noting here that the decidedly anti-hot coal group of foot and ankle specialists in  Europe has proven very powerful due to the soccer connection. A successful TV program could conceivably be adapted to the workplace, the schoolhouse or for home use. Violation of the injunction: Don’t try this at home, would mean sales of Neosporin would go up and Band Aid stocks would soar, but new jobs would surely be created in the trade off and burn units would finally get the recognition and funding they deserved. An evolving  populace with  increasingly heightened awareness would foot the bill. But the whole enterprise came crashing down (holding feet to the fire) when it was discovered that the show was, sadly, a school for criminals. The darker side of walking on hot coals was not limited to the soles of charred feet. The act of walking on hot coals was only week one of the Mind over Matter show. Week two focused on pain management with long sharp needles thrust through the arms of contestants. "Think of your arm as the stuffing in a chair,” was the professional armchair advice. Week three, raising and lowering hand, foot and body temperature. Then heart rate control. Indeed the stuff of advanced yogic practitioners, the mainstay of the OM channel. But when a dozen or so viewers used GSR (galvanic skin response) control over sweating to defeat lie detector tests, public disapproval of the program and its methods starting to grow with calls to shut it down. And then one unsavory character slowed his heart rate to no more than three beats a minute, faking his own death for the insurance money. The whole thing came to light when his wife and co-conspirator thought life might be better if she just left him in his coffin instead of  a  pre-burial escape plan.  After a change of heart, however, she was caught digging him up, arousing suspicion. Alas, the truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
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