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Arrivederci, Mario!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007 | posted by Mike

In a bit of news that will shock absolutely nobody, Mario Batali will no longer be part of the Food Network family. (Which reminds me that I need to set my Out-of-Office message to let everyone know I'm leaving my job on Friday!)

That's right, as if the paring down of Mario's presence on the Network wasn't enough of a clue, the other show dropped with the termination of Batali's role on Iron Chef America. The New York Post has the details.

Sources said that network executives told the spotlight-loving chef last month his multiple shows, which includes the long-running "Molto Mario," would not be renewed and that he would no longer be competing in the popular "Iron Chef America" series.

"He said that if his shows weren't going to be renewed, then he wasn't going to do 'Iron Chef,' " said a network insider. "And then they essentially said 'ciao.' "

The article clearly postulates that the "spotlight-loving chef" doesn't feel like he needs the Network any longer, but it also raises the compelling point that a show on the most widely-consumed food entertainment outlet in the country still brings with it quite a bit of notoriety and money.

While it is true that Batali has certainly earned his credentials and is, by now, a restaurant institution in New York City, a large part of success in such a competitive environment is publicity and "mindshare," two things that are certainly boosted when your face pops up a couple times a week on television.



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