If the ingredients in Food Network
’s success over the past 20 years were to be boiled down into recipe form, it would read something like this:
» 3 cups celebrity chefs
» 2 cups entertainment value
» 1½ cups genius branding
» 1½ cups fortuitous timing
» 1 cup community-building
» ¾ cup positivity
» 2 heaping tablespoons passion
» Dash of luck
The Scripps Networks Interactive cabler, which marks the 20th anniversary of its formal launch on Nov. 23, 1993, has whipped all those elements into a TV souffle — a 24/7 meal that is light and tasty for the viewer but a complex operation for its cooks.
The channel that was once given away to cable operators for free was perfectly timed to capitalize on the enormous growth of popular interest in food, cooking, chefs and restaurateurs. Food Network
has blossomed during the past decade into a top 10 basic cable powerhouse, one that has seemingly endless opportunities for brand extensions, from the monthly magazine that is a joint venture with Hearst Corp.