Musical Chairs: Food Personality Edition
Sunday, June 15, 2008 | posted by Mike
There has been quite a bit of movement recently among the food celebs on television.
The other day, we told you about Ted Allen. Plus, over the past couple of months, we've had:
That's a bunch of big names making big, high-profile changes.
- Mario to PBS
- Emeril to Martha Stewart Inc.
- Every big-name chef you can think of to Top Chef
- Giada to Today
- Guy Fieri to casual dining stardom.
In some of these cases, especially Giada and Rachael Ray's talk shows, it's clear that they got these opportunities because the possessed skills and talents beyond cooking, namely that they are naturals in front of the camera, regardless of their culinary abilities. In other cases, though, the changes seem to me to signal something else.
I really thing that it signifies the true arrival of the food celebrity on a level even higher than we've seen before.
Think about this...why did Katie Couric land the huge deal to host the CBS News? Yes, she got the job because she is a qualified journalist who can anchor a television program. But the real reason she's raking in the dough is that the brass at CBS thought that she was already enough of a celebrity that she would bring an audience with her.
She was a brand name that they were buying.
I think that, with the wealth of food programming available on a variety of outlets, and with food and cooking entering the mainstream media like never before, those who have achieved a certain level of fame are now marketable brands who producers and programmers believe can bring a built-in audience.
Of course, if it is true that they think that Emeril and Guy are worth big money, what they're really saying is that you, the viewer, are worth the money.
So maybe it's less about the rising stars of food television and more about the ever-increasing value of the food enthusiasts.