The Times reports that Scripps Networks, the cable company that owns the Food Network, is bringing another 24-hour chef-centric cable channel to the airwaves on Memorial Day called The Cooking Channel. The new network will be a proper sequel to The Food Network in all but name, featuring new shows from Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Emeril, and a few stars from Food Network Canada.
When initial news of the new channel broke last fall, Scripps described the new network as a return to FN's original roots of entirely cooking demonstration-based programming. While the Cooking Channel will feature more proper cooking shows, the entertaining, star-chef driven format of the current Food Network programming won't change much. Says Michael Smith, GM of the new network:
"We listened to the audience and realized they weren’t necessarily saying they just wanted more instruction or more reality or more travel shows. They just wanted more."
Another reason for the launch of the new channel is, of course, to take advantage of the overflow of advertising interest that the Food Network already generates. Jon Steinlauf, The VP of ad sales for Scripps notes: “the advertiser demand for Food was outstripping the audience growth...Therefore, creating a second channel started making more sense.” The Cooking Channel will replace the lightly viewed Fine Living Channel on the company's network roster, a move that some predicted when news of the new network initially popped up last year. The Cooking Channel hits airwaves on May 31st.
·Another Cable Helping For Food Lovers [NYT]
·All Food Network Coverage On Eater [-EN-]