Discovery Communications is paying $70 million to take a majority interest in OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Until now, OWN has been a joint venture between the television star and the cable programming giant. But the deal, announced Monday, increases Discovery’s ownership stake in the basic cable channel by 24.5% to nearly 75%. The transaction marks the first time that Discovery has made a cash payment to Winfrey’s company, Harpo Inc., since the two parties struck their joint venture a decade ago. The channel itself launched in 2011. Winfrey, however, will continue to serve as chief executive of the network and work exclusively for OWN in the basic cable space through 2025. Winfrey now appears as a special correspondent on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” “Creating OWN and seeing it flourish, supported by Discovery and a rapidly growing group of the finest storytellers in film and television, is one of my proudest achievements,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I’m thrilled with the network’s success and excited about this next chapter in our partnership.” Despite early struggles, OWN has become the top-rated network for African American women with such popular series as "Queen Sugar," and "Greenleaf." The network has benefited from its relationship with prolific producer Tyler Perry as well as producer/director Ava DuVernay. Discovery is in the process of acquiring Scripps Network Interactive, which owns such female-skewing channels as HGTV and Food Network. CAPTION Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war in "Mudbound." Video by Jason H. Neubert Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war in "Mudbound." Video by Jason H. Neubert CAPTION Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war in "Mudbound." Video by Jason H. Neubert Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war in "Mudbound." Video by Jason H. Neubert CAPTION Director Dee Rees talks