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Oodles of News from Food Network
Monday, August 20, 2007 | posted by Mike

Apparently, the folks at Food Network are looking to cut back on the number of separate e-mail press releases they send out, because they unleashed a monster of an alert today covering a range of information, from the formation of a big, new strategic partnership to a bunch of new programs, episodes and specials for the fall season.

The big news was the announcement that Food Network will be partnering with Cooking.com starting in October on a new e-commerce site called FoodNetworkStore.com, which will be powered by Cooking.com:

Food Network and Cooking.com today announced plans to enter into a multi-year partnership to expand Food Network’s already successful e-commerce business with a new online storefront – FoodNetworkStore.com, to launch October 1, 2007. The partnership will allow the Food Network Store to expand its product offerings taking the site from approximately 1,000 products to over 20,000 products. Cooking.com will provide a “powered by” solution, building and operating a leading-edge, easily navigated site that will include product reviews, tips from the Food Network Kitchens and product videos. Cooking.com will provide customer service support and fulfillment for the online orders at FoodNetworkStore.com.

“We know Food Network viewers enjoy buying products related to the network, and our goal is to establish the FoodNetworkStore.com as the place to go for all kitchenware products,” said Sergei Kuharsky, General Manager, Food Network. "Partnering with Cooking.com allows us to expand our product assortment exponentially and build a site that allows viewers to quickly and easily purchase the products they see our chefs using on-air all with an exceptional level of customer service.”

Long-term TVFF readers might remember Sergei's name coming up a while back, so it's interesting to see some of the results of that appointment.

Although Food Network has had an e-commerce component to its site for some time, the relationship with an established partner opens a world of cross-promotional opportunities and the ability to extend their online store significantly beyond their own branded products if they so choose.

In programming-related news, the press release outlined a whole bunch of new programs, including the debut of Have Fork, Will Travel, starring Zane Lamprey, the conclusion of the second season of Feasting on Asphalt and a new short series called Heavyweights.

This September, food lover and comedian Zane Lamprey travels the globe to celebrate something that people everywhere have in common – eating! Have Fork, Will Travel, Food Network’s new primetime, half-hour series premiering Tuesday, September 4th at 9:30pm ET/PT follows the American “fish-out-of-water” across various countries as he attempts to broaden his palate through exotic foods and new traditions and customs. Also in September, Alton Brown (Good Eats, Iron Chef America) concludes the second season of Feasting on Asphalt 2, his latest quest to find the most interesting food in America. Food Network will re-air a marathon of the entire season on Saturday, September 8th beginning at 4PM ET/PT leading up to the series finale at 9PM ET/PT. Food Network will air the limited series Heavyweights, which profiles historic food industry face-offs Saturdays, September 15th-29th from 9PM-10PM. The series investigates the influence of these brand battles on the popular culture, from the kick-start of the Pepsi Challenge to popular extra -terrestrial, E.T., choosing Reese’s Pieces over M&M’s.

Hmmm...as I was writing up this post, I have Alton talking about sandwiches in the background. He just insisted that you always, always use the guard when operating a mandoline-style slicer. If only he had been there with me that time in fifth grade, I might still have a fingerprint on the tip if my right index finger...

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