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Aug 22, 2013 02:59 PM

Chow Supertaster cancelled

Sadly, just read this on his twitter feed:

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  1. Horrible. Just horrible. Every time I enjoy ANYTHING, its gone. Oh, and Yes, I still have my ORIGINAL CHOW magazines..........All five from 2005 or whatever....Bad move..

    1. Supertaster is the only reason I ever ventured over to the Chow side.

      At least Twin Citizens have Heavy Table for our James fix.

      1. I'm of 2 minds on this.

        1) I used to really enjoy it when it was a column, with words written out so you could read them soundlessly at your own speed. So, I miss that. I was glad that someone else was trying some of the crazy stuff that was being sold out there, and had a sense of humor about it.

        2) There was a big ruckus when it went to only video, and the chowstaff was all about how videos were better (aka better revenue generators for ads). So, serves you right chow, for making it "better", and into something nobody wanted in the first place.

        Sorry about the guy losing his gig.

        12 Replies
        1. re: cheesemonger

          I am of the same mind as you, exactly. I like this guy, enjoyed his written column, and was pretty unhappy when he went to video. I hope someone else picks him up. I'd probably even watch him in video!

          1. re: jeanmarieok

            +1 ob preferring the written word to video. but, of course, since it takes longer to watch a video than read a column, more time to view the advertising, if only with one's peripheral vision.

          2. re: cheesemonger

            I disliked the switch from print to video, but James' disarming, charming, smart and cheerful nature came across even more clearly on video. I was won over.

            Look, I admit - I keep my tinfoil hat collection padlocked in a lead lined bunker, but to me this signals again how CBS simply does not do new media very well. When James first started telling us all to visit Supertaster on YouTube, I thought "Uh oh - this probably is not really what they should be doing." Sure enough, comments are 500/1 YouTube/Chow. (hyperbolic guessing is one of my many specialties!) Sure, YouTube Supertaster got many more views, but the production cost was borne by CBS/Chow and there was probably little to no throughput back to Chow or CBS.

            It's just a shame. I will have to comfort myself with something sweet and junky to take the edge off.

            Best of luck to James and his family (including of course, the cat).

            1. re: MplsM ary

              One hopes he will continue doing something similar, but he replied to me on twitter that he won't be. Sucks.

            2. re: cheesemonger

              Yes to this. I really loved Supertaster, it was the only thing on Chow I always read - and then it went to video only, and I stopped looking at it almost entirely.

              I has a sad.

              1. re: cheesemonger


                I used to love the Supertaster column, in fact that was the only thing that brought me out of Chowhound to the Chow site, but I eventually ditched when it went to video exclusively. I just didn't enjoy it as much, no matter how much the Chow team told us how much better of an experience videos would be (for their ad $$, not for Chow members, but I digress). The written word was way funnier (to me, anyway).

                1. re: mels

                  Re: Supertaster's written word being funnier, I wholeheartedly agree. I had the same reaction to Dave Barry. Hysterical on paper, but his personal delivery of his own stuff always missed the mark. As a kid, I absolutely loved the audio recording of "Dave Barry Does Japan", hilariously narrated by Arte Johnson, who I somehow conflated with Barry himself. When I saw Barry for the first time on Letterman, the funny spark just wasn't there. It's the same with James Norton. Both writers have a funny, awkward nerdiness that just translates better on paper.

                  Mr Taster

                2. re: cheesemonger

                  While I clearly remember the change from written to video and I do remember the rukus on CH about the change, we don't know if this decision (then) has anything at all to do with why the "show" ended. Nothing has (or will) be said about why an employee or the job ended. James also had a written following enjoying his time and talent on social media off the CH site.

                  And just an aside to Supertaster, is the turn over at CHOW in title, staff, new hires and new voices...with little to no announcement as well.

                  Supertaster is missed but he's a part of a decent list of staffing changes here.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    "Supertaster is missed but he's a part of a decent list of staffing changes here.
                    Seriously, what are you talking about?

                    1. re: ratgirlagogo

                      hey ratg, I'm referring to the CHOW staff list that has always appeared at the bottom of the page in the red banner. The ABOUT CHOW. I'm referring to the employees listed and their titles under CHOW. I'm referring to the change in video hosts and video content under CHOW videos. Which I've been following along since CBS took on the site. So, seriously, that's what I'm referring to.

                      Nothing mysterious, nothing "rumor" just the staff list avail for all to read. Just the ability to see and hear a change on videos produced at CHOW.

                      And my point is ONLY that James Norton is not the only CHOW employee who is gone.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        "And my point is ONLY that James Norton is not the only CHOW employee who is gone."

                        Oh, OK, I get you now. Undoubtedly true, but I rarely ever look at CHOW, so I wouldn't be paying attention to that. Supertaster on the other hand was a column I actively enjoyed.

                        1. re: ratgirlagogo

                          I'm sure we all have our favorites over @ CHOW. Mine was the Obsessives and Cooking with Grandma videos and countless written columns when "guest chefs" would stop by. Some of the local chow reviewers that covered NYC were also entertaining chow-sleuths.

                          CHOW as an online magazine formatted for visitors is how I approach reading it. And, like most creative mediums (printed magazines, CD liner notes, book introductions & book flaps, author comments as well as the credentials of a creative team) I usually pay attention to the people who work not only in front but behind the scenes; who capture my attention.

                3. I agree, this is a bad move. My entire family, from 83 to 20 years old, enjoyed watching James and his videos. We found Supertaster about 6 months ago and had just been spreading the word about James and his sense of humor. Bad decision Chow.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: cjhkitchen

                    I personally preferred the written version for the same reasons as cheesemonger. But every time my 7 year old sees me on chowhound (which is way too often), she wants Supertaster. Even the 3 year old gets in on it. And we can't even get any of these crazy products in Canada, if we can the formulations would be different anyway.

                    1. re: julesrules

                      A few of them are specifically comparing products from the us and canada like Canadian KD v US KD

                      1. re: kpaxonite

                        Oh thanks, I'll have to look for those! Would love to see an Oreo showdown (Canada so clearly wins on that one :)

                  2. This ain't right. The videos have been much better over the last 2+ years, but James was the glue that held them together, IMHO. Big mistake. I'm sure Chow's CBS overlords and their focus groups have something much more bland in store. Maybe another homey Rachael Ray-esque personality who'll make everyone feel good about themselves while using a can of Duncan Hines frosting and will test well in the high-disposable income demographic.