Archive for Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Food Network spinoff aims at young, tech-savvy viewers

April 29, 2009


The parent company of the Food Network is dishing up a hip second helping of the popular cooking channel.

The online-only Food2 from Scripps Networks will be a video-driven rethinking of the 16-year-old cable food channel. Combining traditional how-to content with blogging, Twittering and other social networking elements, the new network will target 21- to 34-year-olds.

But Deanna Brown, president of Scripps Networks Digital, says Food2 won’t be just a digital knockoff. Because young consumers view and use content differently than their older peers, the format, content and even hosts will be different.

“This is not Food Network light,” she said in a recent telephone interview. “It’s not a farm team. This is intended from start to finish to be a real offering for this audience.”

The videos, for example, will have a casual vibe and stick closer to 2 to 3 minutes, rather than the more traditional 30-minute format. Users will be invited to participate in various challenges and to submit content, and the content itself won’t live solely on the Food2 site.

Much of the content and activity will live on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, Brown said.

Because of that, Scripps isn’t concerned about siphoning viewers from Food2’s older sibling. “This is a different audience. While this audience may be spending time at, it’s probably not in volume,” she said.

Among the new shows being launched on Food2 is “Kelsey and Spike Cook,” which features Kelsey Nixon, 24, of “The Next Food Network Star” and Spike Mendelsohn, 28, of “Top Chef” offering different takes on the same dish.

“What we’re trying to do is break down cooking, make it a little more fun,” Mendelsohn, a former contestant on the Bravo cooking show, said of Food2. “Sometimes on these food shows it’s taken a little too seriously.”


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