It’s been four years since Anthony Bourdain moved from the Travel Channel to CNN, where he currently stars in the hit travel show Parts Unknown. The move signaled a shift in CNN’s line-up away from straight news and toward more diverse types of programming — and the switch-up helped the network grow its audience. Now, CNN president Jeff Zucker is focused on expanding the network’s digital presence and developing more personality-driven programs that, like Parts Unknown, that are not primarily concerned with news or politics.
As part of this digital expansion effort, CNN is working with Anthony Bourdain on a new “mobile-first company” called “Explore Parts Unknown.” This will be home to longform journalism, videos, and photography. Bourdain is also working on a six-episode digital-only companion to his show, which will launch along with the next season later this year.
The new platform sounds a bit like Roads & Kingdoms, the travel-focused site that Bourdain is involved with as an editor-at-large (Update: see note below). Bourdain tells the Hollywood Reporter that he hopes to “go as far as we can, go as weird as we can, as deep as we can and as smart as we can” with this new project.
Stay tuned for more details on the launch of “Explore Parts Unknown” as they become available.
UPDATE: Roads & Kingdoms CEO and co-founder Nathan Thornburgh tells Eater that his company is actually CNN’s editorial partner on this project, which is “still a ways out from launch.” Currently, the publication covers a wide array of people and places around the world, with several food stories in the mix and longform that’s “curated” by Bourdain. So it’s easy to imagine the Roads & Kingdoms crew working on this new site with CNN.
• CNN Chief Jeff Zucker Unveils Plan to Dominate Digital [CNN]
• Roads & Kingdoms [Official]
• All Coverage of Anthony Bourdain [E]