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Food Serves June Banquet

6/07/2010 5:33 AM Eastern

Food Network in June
will serve a different programming
dish to consumers, compared
to its newly launched
sister service Cooking Channel,
with an aggressive series slate
that features more than seven
series premieres, including top
hit The Next Food Network Star.

“We really wanted to come
out of May sweeps and launch
a focused campaign that created
some immediacy and excitement
around June,” said Food senior
vice president of marketing, creative
services and public relations
Susie Fogelson.

Scripps Networks-owned Food
will cook up an unprecedented 85
new episodes during the month
of June, from such shows as Diners
Drive-In and Dives, Chopped,
Good Eats, Dinner: Impossible
and City Unwrapped, as well as
from competition series Iron Chef
America and Food Network Challenge
,
officials said.

Food launches a new series
on June 15, Cupcake Wars, pitting
the country’s top cupcake
bakers against one another in
three elimination challenges for
a $10,000 prize.

The centerpiece of this month’s
menu is the June 6 premiere of
The Next Food Network Star’s
sixth season. From a new set in
Los Angeles, contestants will vie
for a shot at his or her own show
on the channel.

The aggressive programming
slate doesn’t end in June. August
will see another new series, The
Great Food Truck Race
, in which
seven food-truck teams engage in
a cross-country competition.

“It’s Amazing Race meets a culinary
competition,” Fogelson
said.

Food’s June smorgasbord follows
the May 31 launch of Scripps
Networks’ Cooking Channel,
which took over Fine Living Network’s
58 million subscribers. Fogelson
said the Cooking launch
was a partial catalyst for Food’s
ramped-up June lineup, but said
the older network won’t be aggressively
marketing against the
newcomer.

“We’re not spinning our wheels
too radically in terms of differentiating
ourselves from Cooking
Channel — the audience will experience
them and find their affection
for both brands,” he said.
“But this is a smart strategy for us,
especially when we know there is
more focus on the category because
of the Cooking Channel.”

Cooking Channel general manager
Michael Smith said audiences
won’t have trouble telling the
difference between his service
and Food Network.

“People are getting the idea
that this is a complement to Food
Network, not a replacement or
a clone,” he said. “It’s a network
that helps people take a deeper
dive into food and get into some
new cuisines and some new aspects
of the subject.”

Cooking Channel was able to
secure most of Fine Living’s subscribers
as part of Food Network
carriage renewal deals with operators
completed last year, Smith
said. Cooking will look to launch
several new series over the next
few months, starring such culinary
TV stars as Emeril Lagasse,
Rachel Ray and Iron Chef’s Michael
Simon, he added. In July,
Cooking will debut a companion
recap show to Food’s The Next
Food Network Star
, with highlights
and contestant interviews.

“We look at our debut as a soft
launch,” Smith said, with at least
10 to 12 more shows to be added
to the culinary-TV feast before
the year ends.

 

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