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Food Network (legally known as Television Food Network) is an American basic cable and satellite television channel headquartered in New York City, airing both specials and regular episodic programs relating to food and cooking.

History Edit

Food Network was founded on April 19, 1993 as TV Food Network and was launched on November 23 of that year; its legal name remains Television Food Network, G.P.[1] Within a few years, the network had shortened its on-air brand name, removing the "TV" from its name. It was developed by Reese Schonfeld (one of the founders of CNN), under the direction of Providence Journal president Trygve Myrhen. Its original partners included the Journal itself, Adelphia, Scripps-Howard, Continental Cablevision, Cablevision|Cablevision, and most importantly, the Tribune Company, which provided the network's technical output. The network was initially launched as a preview in September 1993 with two initial shows featuring David Rosengarten, Donna Hanover, and Robin Leach.

Schonfeld, who was also a partner in the company, was appointed as managing director of TV Food Network and maintained a spot on its management board along with two Providence Journal employees. The original lineup for the network included Emeril Lagasse (Essence of Emeril), Debbi Fields, Donna Hanover, David Rosengarten, Curtis Aikens, Dr. Louis Arrone, Jacques Pépin, and Robin Leach. The following year, the network acquired the rights to the Julia Child library from WGBH.

In 1995, Schonfeld resigned as managing director of the network, but remained on its board until 1998, when he sold his interest in the company to Scripps. Erica Gruen was hired as president/CEO of the network in 1996, becoming only the second woman in history to be CEO of a U.S. television network, and led it to explosive growth through 1998, tripling the subscriber base, viewership and revenue. In fact, in 1997, it was the second fastest growing cable network. Gruen changed the brand positioning from Schonfeld's "TV for people who cook" to "TV for everyone who loves to eat," thereby greatly improving the appeal to viewers and advertisers, and saving the network from bankruptcy. Greg Willis and Cathy Rasenberger were the two of the original members of the start-up team who led the affiliate sales and marketing of the company from 1995 to 1998. Greg Willis served as senior vice president of worldwide distribution until he left to join Liberty Media in 1998.

The A. H. Belo Corporation acquired Food Network when it purchased The Providence Journal Company in 1996. Myrhen left the Journal Company the following year. Belo sold the network to the E.W. Scripps Company in 1997, in a trade deal that resulted in Belo acquiring the television-radio station combination of KENS-AM/TV in San Antonio, Texas. In March 2009, the Food Network launched a repurposed Food.com as a bookmarking site that allows users to aggregate and search for recipes from different sources online.

The high definition feed of Food Network launched on March 31, 2008.

Notes & ReferencesEdit

  1. G.P. = General Partnership; A business partnership in which each of the partners is liable for the actions of any of the other partners and in in which each of the partners is fully liable for the firm's debts.
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