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Wow! Big News Day in TV Food Land!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 | posted by Mike

Credit for the headline goes to reader/food blogger extrordinaire Nicky, who kept me on my toes with the latest news today. Nicky is great -- not only because she sends along info -- but also because she adamantly refuses to compromise the food-related content that she's creating despite my constant efforts to get her to cater to the lowest denominator. (Sorry...inside joke. Somewhere, Nicky is laughing.)

First there was the news that Martha Stewart bought Emeril Lagasse. Or something like that. OK, she doesn't actually own Emeril, but her umbrella organization, Martha Stewart Omnimedia Inc., purchased the rights to Emeril's shows and branded merchandise.

The New York-based media and merchandising company founded by domesticity maven Martha Stewart announced on Tuesday that it bought the rights to the Emeril Lagasse franchise of cookbooks, television shows and kitchen products for $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock at closing.

The final price could rise to up to $70 million if certain benchmarks are achieved.

Not a bad haul for someone whose flagship show just stopped taping. We kid...I'm sure that Emeril and his plethora of signature items (everything from pasta sauce to pots an pans) have a very profitable life ahead of them.

Hmmmm...Oprah has Rachael and Martha has Emeril. How long until Martha and O show up at Kitchen Stadium with their culinary hired guns for a media-marketing grudge match?

The other big news is that Food Network launched a new online video series with Adam Roberts, a.k.a. The Amateur Gourmet. According to the release:
Launching today at http://www.foodnetwork.com/fndish, the intrepid Adam Roberts INFILTRATES Food Network's hallowed culinary halls to find out what really goes on BEHIND THE SCENES at the popular cable network in THE new online series, The FN Dish. From reporting almost live from the 2008 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, to cooking with newly-crowned Iron Chef Michael Symon at his Cleveland restaurant Lola, and chatting up Rachael Ray at a network shoot, Adam tackles it all. Food Network fans unite for a fun-filled ride, spending time with your favorite shows and stars off the air!
You can check out the first episode below (sorry about the auto-play). It's pretty fun. Despite the fact that he's an obvious neophyte to video (us bloggers aren't good with human interaction, even when it's just a camera), Roberts is charming and has a quick wit.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention two things that I discussed in my look at Food Network and the Internet late last year. First, when it comes to blogging, I mentioned Roberts as a great example of how they went outside to get some fresh content. They're going back to him again and that's great news.

Secondly, I griped about the lousy video interface. The GREAT news is that the video series features a brand new player that allows you to jump around in the video, has a full-screen option and allows embedding in blogs and other pages. The ability to comment and rate the videos round out some nice social aspects. About the only thing I'm not seeing is the ability to subscribe to these as a podcast, but that may be dictated by the fact that it looks like most of the videos are already up and there will be less in the way of an ongoing series. Regardless, fantastic job all around.



Hi, I'm Mike and I created TVFoodFan.com as a place where you can come to get the latest news and views about what’s going on in the world of culinary television.

Contact Us at: mike@tvfoodfan.com

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