FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
POPULAR FOOD NETWORK TO CEASE PROGRAMMING AT MONTH’S END
New York City – The E.W. Scripps Company announced today that after 19 years in production their popular Food Network will cease programming at the end of April. The move took many in assembly by surprise. The press conference was held at Chelsea Market on 75 9th Avenue, home of the Food Network Studios.
Milton Funderburk, Acting Assistant Vice-Chairman of Cable Programming for Scripps was asked why the media conglomerate was closing the doors on its most popular cable franchise, “The time is right. After all when we purchased TFN back in ’97 we thought it would fail miserably. That was the plan.
“We acquired the Network as a tax right off. We never dreamed anyone would actually watch it. Our thought was why would anyone want to watch someone else cooking on TV? I mean if they wanted to see someone cook, they could just go cook something. Apparently we under estimated the American public’s desire to live vicariously.”
Comments from Guy Fieri on Food Network’s pending demise. Article continues below.
Since the Food Network began programming in 1993 viewership has continued to grow though it was shaky in the beginning. Those first shows featured chefs who were virtual unknowns like Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Emeril Legasse. Now it is one of the most successful cable channels in television history which fueled more questions about why Scripps was giving TFN the axe.
Funderburk explained, “It wasn’t long after we took the Network over that we realized, we may have stumbled onto something here. Viewership was growing exponentially and other vicariousity networks were springing up. Not only were viewers watching people cooking instead of cooking themselves but they were watching the Travel Channel instead of going on vacation, eschewing exercise for the Fitness Channel and watching HGTV in living rooms that were literally falling apart around them. I’ve heard that Time Warner is actually planning on unveiling the Sleeping Channel for people who are too lazy to fall asleep for themselves.
“The trend even crossed over into mainstream media. Instead of keeping up with politics America was watching The West Wing. There was no reason to invite the annoying neighbor over when you could tune into Jay Leno. Why watch fact-based news programming when there was MSNBC?”
When asked about the future of Food Network Canada Funderburk replied, “That’s toast, too. Not that anyone will notice, it’s Canada. I know it’s the largest state in the US but hardly anyone lives there. Let’s be honest if it wasn’t for the band Rush America would have never bought Canada from the Alaskans.”
The ultimate reason Funderburk offered for 86′ing their most popular holding was it’s very popularity. The demand for food programming is so high that not only have other cable channels like Bravo and TLC entered the market but so have mainstream networks NBC and FOX.
Funderburk, noticeably angry, proclaimed, “If there is one thing I can’t stand it is being copied. If everyone is going to dabble with food programming then we’ll just wash our hands of the whole thing. It doesn’t matter to us. We’ve always got our newspaper division. That’s not going anywhere.”
It’s hard to believe that Food Network is doing away with Ace of Cakes but I guess it is time. It is the only cake-orientated show I have ever liked. It seems that every cake show that comes out only serves to get worse. Cake Boss, Food Network Cake Challenge, Cupcake Wars, et al. None of them are worth the parchment paper they are baked on.
The word on the streets is there are plans for some sort of Duff only show but so far nothing concrete has come out. I hope so, Duff is a great natural character. So on behalf of all the people who have watched Ace of Cakes over the years I would like to wish good luck to Duff, Adam, Mary Alice, Anna, Elena and the adorably sexy Katherine Hill as well of all the others who have served up fondant covered fun. Adios, cake dudes, you will be missed.
It is cool that Food Network is giving the folks at Charm City Cakes a celebrated swan song. I wonder if they will do the same for the recently axed Private Chef of Beverly Hills. I would like one last farewell from the gang at Big City Chefs, some of whom I am proud to count as friends.
The final episode of Ace of Cakes airs tonight at 10/9 Central.