An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release

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emhahn
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An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Thu, 05/29/03 9:53 AM
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We have a writer with RestaurantEdge who is currently working on a piece with a disgruntled former Food Network exec. I don't know how many watch FoodTv here, but this should make for some good reading.

Just something I thought I'd give everyone a head's up on.......

Eric
http://www.RestaurantEdge.com

Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Thu, 05/29/03 10:11 AM
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Can we have the exact link please? Otherwise I will delete the topic.

emhahn
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Thu, 05/29/03 10:21 AM
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Whoops!

Forgot to mention, you'll want to register for our newsletter......

I'm not on all cylinders this morning....

emhahn
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Thu, 05/29/03 10:24 AM
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Here's a link to our Newsletter, Stephen. This article is going to be released in about ten days.

http://www.restaurantedge.com/index.phtml?catid=904

emhahn
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Tue, 06/3/03 7:53 PM
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Here's the Preview: (Only for Roadfood.com)

Network Difficulties?

What do they think, we’re idiots? Does the Food Network think the average American can’t figure out How to Boil Water or put a pot roast together? Do they think we want more reality/date-type shows with soap-actor quality sex appeal? Are there guys in a boardroom somewhere in New York City giving the nod to more vapid television based on last year’s Neilson ratings and the MTV demographic? I think the answer’s obvious if you’ve watched the network recently: Food has taken a back seat to big business at TFN.
Back in the day, long before Date Plate and Food Fight, shows like Taste with David Rosengarten and Malto Mario were big draws because the hosts were real, most certainly not camera ready and spoke honestly and passionately about food. If Rosengarten didn’t like a particular brand of proscuitto, or a piece of equipment he’d give it the old heave-ho over the shoulder, right there on camera, with an unapologetic rant explaining the act. I loved watching the guy just to see what jaded concept he’d rip into next. His enthusiasm for food was front and center, never in question.
Mario would simply leave you staring at the television dumbfounded, trying to figure out how he could cook and plate all that beautiful food, give an eloquent dissertation on the importance of Campagnia, and interact with his guests all in the same breath. I found him fascinating, inspiring even, balancing himself delicately between bawdy and cuddly while revealing a passion ten times more intense than anyone cooking on television today. But he just disappeared, his two eponymous shows shelved, even in reruns.
A recent conversation with a former programming director only confirmed my suspicions that the network is more interested in profitability than substance. He threw around phrases like “trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator,” “behind the curve,” “not interested in being number 1” and “unfortunate corporate inertia” when describing the “new” company modus operandi. He sadly remarked that the company was founded with a focus on innovative and quality programming but has shifted that focus toward knock you over the head shallowness and mass-market appeal. According to the former programming director the company blatantly becoming synchronous with HGTV, the painfully sterile and difficult to watch network of do-it yourself shows.
The flimsy stable of new shows only authenticates this claim. It seems the underlying principle that ties new shows like Everyday Italian, Date Plate, The Barefoot Contessa, and Food Fight together is homogenization. The edgy quality that first attracted me to the network has been decidedly toned down, relegated to late night programs like A Cook’s Tour and the ever-popular, but also later than prime time, Iron Chef. If this tells you something, the higher ups at TFN even poo-pooed that show when pitched, according to the former director.
I want to like the Food Network, contrary to opinions expressed here. And there are still some signs of hope, Tyler’s Ultimate and the cultish Good Eats spring to mind. But the network is arguably a shell of its former self, relying on pastel sets, beaming smiles and teleprompted amateurs to lead the charge. As a culinary professional I feel left out of the loop. I sincerely believe this isn’t what the creators had in mind.

quote:
Originally posted by emhahn

Here's a link to our Newsletter, Stephen. This article is going to be released in about ten days.

http://www.restaurantedge.com/index.phtml?catid=904

1bbqboy
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Wed, 06/4/03 1:18 PM
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sorry to say I agree with that. I used to watch dave and the mayor's wife, then Sara. Now it's not "must see", that's for sure. Always thought Roadfood would be a perfect fit and wondered why the network seemed to be semi-swiping the stern's persona with "Best Of". I envisioned Jane and Michael with their video cam checking in while they traveled. As time has moved on, anything live and current has vanished and it's just mind numbing repeats of the same tired shows over & over.
Iron Chef and unwrapped are about the only things my family makes a point to watch. sad.

seafarer john
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Wed, 06/4/03 10:18 PM
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I see Mario every weekday at 4:30 pm on ch.36 out of NYC. If they are re-runs, they've sure fooled me. Mario is excellent, but even he was sucker enough to make the entirely inane show of "Mario Eats Italy" - what an embarrassment.

Can't understand why anyone would watch "Iron chef" - unless its some kind of campy or groupie, or foodie thing I don't understand.

The basic complaint that Food TV has embraced the lowest common denominator is mostly true. But, what the Hell, isn't that the way we elect Presidents in modern America? And, think about our sports shows, with celebrities and boreing yakkers belaboring the obvious, cheap shots at men and women having a bad day, and the whole game revolving around the timing for commercials. That's why we need to provide our own quality in just about everything now-a-days - from dedicated searches for good food, quality music and entertainment on obscure outlets,
searching for some truth in the corporate media, and the blizzard of questionable information clogging up the internet,

Thank god we have the honest and sharing folks who help us maintain a little sanity and dignity here on the Roadfood net!

ocdreamr
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Wed, 06/4/03 11:08 PM
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Don't have cable so I don't see either HGTV or the food Network but have felt the effect of them. Have you noticed how the majority of cooking shows on PBS are reruns? Sure there's an ocasional special or pledge program but new weekly programs are few & far between. Maryland Public TV (MPT) has been the producer of some of the best programs in the past (Baking with Julia, Pierre Franey, Chez Pepin and Chesapeake cooking w/John Shields to name just a few) At present they do not seem to be making any! They seem to be unable to compete with the cable shows. Now that the cable people have cornered the market they can cut the quality of what the deliver & you have no where to go. Of course even a repeat of Julia & Jacques is better than watching a new cable show.

topferment
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Thu, 06/5/03 12:08 AM
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Yea!!! What happened to David Rosengarten? I know he reviews restaurants for Gourmet Mag. but he is sorely missed on Food TV. Taste was their best program and like emhahn said if a product was crap he told you. What's up with the people on the network now? Are they afraid of offending advertisers or what? The show Best Of doesn't even compare to old show Dining Around(where the presenters would give their true opinions of a restaurant). I noticed Food TV's programming quality going down hill for at least a coulple of years now. I hardly even watch it execpt for a few shows(Tony Bourdain's A Cook's Tour, Food Nation, Good Eats, Iron Chef). I first started watching the network about eight years ago and you could tell then it was run by real foodies. Now it is really dumbed down.

kland01s
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Thu, 06/5/03 11:47 AM
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In the Chicago area we have 2 locally produced shows, one is Check Please where 3 average people recommend their favorite restaurant, they each go try it and then do a review. The show is hosted by Amanda Puck of the Wolfgang family, its a little amateurish but it does open you up to ideas of where to go to try out. The other show is Your Chicago Kitchen in which you submit a reciepe and if you are selected, you come on and cook. I don't know if everyone's PBS carries the Rick Bayless show because it is excellant and informative. These show are all on WTTW which our PBS station.

Sundancer7
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Mon, 06/9/03 4:17 PM
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I am not sure of the gentlemans criticism of the Food Network. I am pretty sure that he does not attend some of the meetings I do, but in our company, if we do not make a profit, we do not stay. Boardrooms ain't a religous experience. The networks have to be cognizant of ratings. If the ratings are not there, that dog don't hunt.

I watch the Food Network quite often and when they show something that I do not like, that is what the flicker is for.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

1bbqboy
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Mon, 06/9/03 9:24 PM
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I think it's more a question of brand loyalty. To those of us who watched it and felt we were on to something special, the current crop of
shows seems starstruck and shallow. It now seems to represent the flashy and glitzy rather than the nuanced and hidden. I felt I was discovering something hidden when I used to watch it, now rachel ray is a not as fun ripoff of the sterns, going to cities and places I probably will never go. Think if our "Where do I eat" contributions were a TV show. It'd be a hundred times cooler. A question of degrees, I guess. It's still worth having around, but not as necessary

emhahn
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Wed, 06/11/03 2:50 AM
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Thanks for all the wonderful replies here you guys.

We published the newsletter this evening. (It's an all day event to compile, edit, and organize the thing.

Here's the link:

http://www.restaurantedge.com/index.phtml?catid=904

Have a wonderful day!

Eric

alanjwax
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Tue, 07/1/03 9:51 PM
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David Rosengarten has taken his theatrics to Fox News New York

Route 11
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RE: An Interesting Piece on Food Network to be Release - Fri, 07/4/03 6:00 PM
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Take this with a grain of salt, because I work in television.

I don't like most of the new Food TV stuff anyways. It's boring. I like some of their shows like Naked Chef and Cook's Tour.

The reason they're doing these "date plate" shows is cost. These are very cheap to produce and there's only one or two talent to pay. The camera work can be farmed out to freelancers, which Alton Brown can't do (I like him too).

Corporate greed? Like that's a NEW term in television!