Sign of the times: Even Oprah is laying off staff

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Oprah Winfrey famously once gave every member of her audience a new car. She is highly regarded for her philanthropy as well, and her fan base is in fact so strong that comedians have likened her following to an unofficial religion: ‘Oprahism’.

Yet even Oprah is not immune to the cut-throat world of lay-offs. Earlier this week she was forced to cut 30 full-timers from her network, ‘OWN’. “It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives,” Oprah wrote in a statement. “But the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place. 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,” she said.

As any HR director will testify, redundancies top the list of the most unfavoured duties. Many say the goal is to deliver the news in the most humane way possible, and help the employee maintain some semblance of dignity. It’s a tough job, but think of it this way – at least you don’t have the likes of Donald Trump undoing your hard work.

Among the lay-offs, “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” on the OWN network also got booted just five months after its launch. After catching wind of the cancellation, Donald Trump took to the Twitter-verse with his opinion. “Her ratings were abysmal ... when will media executives learn that Rosie just hasn't got it,” he tweeted. Hopefully Oprah sends O’Donnell on her way with a glowing reference…

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