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Jul 25, 2011 07:41 PM

Gotta give Food Network credit for being loyal

Has anyone noticed how few people ever actually leave the Food Network? From management to hosts, it seems here's very little turnover compared with TV networks in general.

It's true that some chefs have graduated to other things (usually to more fame), but their overall roster has retained many whose initial stardom seemingly peaked a while back... Irvine, Cora, Summers? Even Ming Tsai comes back for many cameo roles. Meanwhile Flay has been on 15 different shows (according to Wikipedia). I'm not even sure which shows Tyler F., Alton, Ted Allen, Alex G. and others are most associated with these days..

I'm not complaining. In fact I think it's unusually refreshing that a modern network keeps re-investing in core people they seem to click with. Think of how many networks made billions from folks like Cosby/Seinfeld/etc., and promptly abandoned the people/shows when the ratings became average.

Like the talent or not, does it seem like "The Firm?" Ha ha. But really, I work in other parts of the media industry and there's usually an entirely new staff at most places every few years. FN seems to provide a lot of second, third and more chances.

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  1. I am sure you'll get a ton of posters hating on the Food Network and saying the chefs you mentioned (Flay especially) are in some way sell-outs. But I agree with you. I like that there are familiar faces on new shows, and whether they are hosting, judging, or cooking, people like Flay and Alton Brown definitely lend some credibility to new shows. To me.

    1. They could use some turnover.

      1. What "management" has stayed on board for an inordinate amount of time, and is that time exceptional in the world of TV production for a network like FoodTV?

        2 Replies
        1. re: tommy

          Never said "inordinate" but Tuschman's been there since 98. Fogelson has been there for 12 years. Is that exceptional? I'm guessing yes in terms of the TV industry, though there are certainly other execs who've been at their respective brands for years. But usually it's an industry with a lot of movement.

          1. re: tastyjon

            I guess you have to give them credit then. More companies should reward success.

            Still not sure if it's exceptional for a successful, growing company with feet in many waters. Not sure it's worth guessing about, either. I sure would be surprised to hear that other companies in similar situations are letting go of people in those positions. Of course, many successful people move on from successful companies, but the fact that these folks haven't doesn't necessarily speak to the Food Network's loyalty. Could be totally unrelated, in fact.

        2. THey had a major housecleaning a few years back when they didn't renew Emeril and Mario and a few others.

          Yet they cling to people like Aron Sanchez and keep building shows around this man trying to get something to stick.

          1. There were some early shows/hosts on Food Network that seemed to disappear but then, here in Canada we stopped getting the US version when they introduced FN Canada. Shows that come to mind:

            Two Hot Tamales
            Caprial's Cafe
            Three Dog Bakery

            Are these still around in the US?

            10 Replies
            1. re: Breadcrumbs


              You bring up a good point. The early days of FN there was a great deal of diversity. Then not so much they narrowed down their ‘Talent’ to only a handful of people. And kept reusing them over and over at one point Rachel Ray had three different shows on.

              Now any new talent has to more or less sign their soul away to FN contract wise. Which explain why FN would want to use and reuse the same people over and over again.

              1. re: Withnail42

                What are the details of these contracts?

                1. re: tommy

                  I imagine that the early contracts for Emeril and Bobby were blank checks and vague. I remember reading about Vern Yip's contract at TLC for Trading Spaces didn't specify the number of episodes he needed to be in, so he got to pick and choose how many times he appeared.

                  Bobby has started producing shows. He produced that Alex's Day Off show, which was beyond boring.

                  I miss the baking shows like Gale Gand. I was happy that they brought in a baking show (Dessert First). Anne Thornton is watchable. I've only made one of her recipes (fudge) and it was just okay, nothing special that I'll make again.

                  I'm just happy to see someone making dessert again.

                  1. re: tommy

                    From what I understand is that FN essentially locks a person down contract wise they get a piece of everything they do. This is why they develop and keep their 'talent'. They can pay them nothing and still get a cut of the action. They can't do that with people who are already established. But that doesn't stop them from trying. I know of a case where FN was negotiating with a prospective 'personality' who already had done a TV show and written a couple of books. FN wanted a percentage of the profits from the previous show and all sales of the books since publication, several years earlier.

                    1. re: Withnail42

                      It comes down to bargaining power. As a fledgling network they couldn't demand as much of their stars. Now they have strong, almost monopolistic power in the area of cooking TV, and can demand more. They are a business, and seek the best deals for their investors.

                2. re: Breadcrumbs

                  Caprial Pence and her husband have a show on public television here in the US.

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    I live in montreal and Im pretty sure (?) I get the US version... it just says food network and I get it with videotron.

                    1. re: kpaxonite

                      Here's the link to the FN Canada website kpaxonite. If those annoying Podleski sisters are on right now, it's the Canadian version. If not, lucky you!! ; - )


                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                        Glutton for Punishment is on right now for me....I guess I'm lucky :) well not that lucky......but still

                        edit actually looking at the schedule maybe not (you posted just after 7:30...

                        1. re: kpaxonite

                          Looks like you have Food tv Cda kpaxonite. Still lucky that you missed the Podleski's though!! ; - )