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Food Network is a television specialty channel that airs specials and recurring (episodic) programs about food and cooking. Scripps Networks Interactive owns roughly two thirds of the network, and Tribune Company owns the rest.

The network is seen in more than ninety million households. In addition to New York Citymarker, it has offices in Atlantamarker, Los Angelesmarker, San Franciscomarker, Chicagomarker, Detroitmarker and Knoxville, TNmarker.

Food Network has launched internationally first in the UK on November 9th 2009 and in Asia from early 2010.

Food Network was founded on November 23 1993 as TV Food Network; its legal name is still Television Food Network, G.P. Within a few years, the network had shortened its on-air brand name. Joe Langhan, now an executive producer with the Wine Network created the concept for Food Network in 1991 while working at the The Providence Journal.

Food Network is owned by Scripps Networks Interactive, a spin-off of E. W. Scripps Company. In 1997, Scripps acquired the Food Network from the A. H. Belo Corp. Corporation (in exchange for broadcast stations KENS-AM/TVmarker in San Antonio, Texasmarker), which had acquired the network through a takeover of The Providence Journal Company earlier that year.

Programming

Food Network programming is divided into daytime coverage known as "Food Network in the Kitchen" and primetime coverage the network calls "Food Network Nighttime". Generally, "In the Kitchen" is dedicated to instructional cooking programs while "Nighttime" features food-related entertainment programs, such as cooking competitions, food-related travel shows, and reality shows. Promos identify "Food Network Nighttime" programming but not daytime programming. Many of the channel's personalities routinely pull double-duty (or more) — hosting both daytime and nighttime programming — and the channel regularly offers specials which typically either follow its personalities on working vacations, or bring together a number of personalities for a themed cooking event.

Former logo, used from 1997 to 2003.
Among the chefs present at the channel's 1993 launch were Mario Batali, Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse. Lagasse's Emeril Live! was the channel's signature series for many years, with the series' final taping occurring December 11, 2007. Among other duties, Flay and Batali appear regularly as "Iron Chefs" on Iron Chef America, the channel's well-received remake of the original Japanese series. America's host, Alton Brown, gained a cult following for his Good Eats, which mixes science, cooking and offbeat humor. Arguably the channel's biggest cross-over star is Rachael Ray, who has parlayed her cable following (primarily through the series 30 Minute Meals and $40 a Day) into a syndicated talk show.

Beginning in 2005, an annual reality contest, The Next Food Network Star, has brought viewers to New York to compete for their own show. Previous winners include Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh (Party Line with The Hearty Boys), Guy Fieri (Guy's Big Bite, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, "Guy Off the Hook," "Ultimate Recipe Showdown," "Guy's Big Night," "Guy's Family Feast"), Amy Finley (The Gourmet Next Door), Aaron McCargo, Jr. (Big Daddy's House)., and Melissa d'Arabian (Ten Dollar Dinners).

In accordance with an agreement between Scripps and Chello, Food Network programs will start to air abroad in the fourth quarter of 2009 in the United Kingdom and then in other markets in early 2010.

Food Network HD

Food Network HD logo
Food Network HD is a 1080i high definition simulcast of Food Network. It originally aired a different lineup than the SD version, with only HD programs. On March 31, 2008, Food Network (along with HGTV) relaunched an HD simulcast of its standard definition feed. As a result, the programming is now identical on both channels, with upconverted and stretched versions of standard definition programs being shown when no high definition version is available.

Food Network rebrands Food.com

In March 2009, the Food Network launched a re-purposed Food.com as a bookmarking site that lets users aggregate and search for recipes from different sources online.

Food Network video game

Food Network is currently planning to release Cook or Be Cooked, a video game for the Wii console. The game, which was developed by Namco, simulates real cooking experiences and will be released on November 3, 2009.

Media comment

In December 2007, The New York Times business section published an article on the end of Emerill Lagasse's show Emeril Live and quoted Brooke Johnson, the president as saying that Lagasse "remains a valued member of the Food Network family".

Derek Baine, senior analyst at the media research firm SNL Kagan, is reported to have commented, "It's not surprising that people move on". "They pay almost nothing for the people as they are building their careers". "That's been their strategy all along".

The article also commented on the declining popularity of the Food Network whose day ratings it reported had fallen “to an average of 544,000 people from 580,000 a year ago”. It noted, "More significant, its signature weekend block of instructional programs, known collectively as ‘In the Kitchen,’ has lost 15 percent of its audience in the last year, to 830,000 viewers on average. This had left the network owing refunds, known as ‘make goods,’ to advertisers."

Erica Gruen, former president and CEO of the Food Network (1995 - 1998) who created Emeril Live during her tenure, was reported to have blamed the decline on increased competition, “There’s all sorts of instructional cooking video on the Web”.

But it reported that, "Bob Tuschman, Food Network's senior vice president for programming and production, said the weekend ratings drop was 'nothing we haven't anticipated'. He said the network's ratings in that time period grew by double digits in each of the last four years, growth that could not be sustained."

It also wrote, "About a year ago, the Food Network began aggressively trying to change that with new deals that were 'way more onerous' from the stars' point of view, said a person who has been affected by the changing strategy, by insisting on a stake in book deals and licensing ventures, and control over outside activities.

Similar to the departure of Emeril Lagasse was that of David Rosengarten. In the foreword to his book Taste, Erica Gruen noted that the show had been the very first in-house production at Food Network and had become its most popular show. Yet after her departure at the end of 1998, the show was relegated to a 1:00 am broadcast time resulting in its inevitable drop in ratings and final demise. This strange and, on the surface, contrary to interest conduct by the network has never been explained.

See also



References

  1. [1]
  2. The Wine Network.tv
  3. Untitled Document
  4. Belo Group: landmarks
  5. Elizabeth Jensen. New York Times (Dec 17, 2007) (via ProQuest)
  6. David Rosengarten (1998), Taste: One Palate's Journey through the World's Greatest Dishes, Television Food Network, Random House ISBN 0-375-75265-X


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