The other day, AdWeek interviewed Food Network President Brooke Johnson on a wide variety of topics. Johnson's responses seem somewhat terse, but the interview covers enough ground that there are some interesting nuggets. On the humorous side is the revelation that Johnson herself can't cook very well, though she says, "I’ve learned a thing or two since being at the Food Network."
On the more substantive side are some fascinating statistics about viewer demographics of the Food Network and its spawn, the Cooking Channel. Apparently, viewership is younger and less female than one might expect -- especially on the Cooking Channel, which Johnson calls edgier than the Food Network.
Johnson has been the president of the Food Network since 2004. Viewership at the Food Network, though, has started to sink since then. A January report on ratings indicated that total viewership dropped around 10% over the year before.
On the bright side, a fun Zagat article ranking different food TV shows and personality gave the Food Network and the Cooking Channel the top two slots in its "Best Network" ranking. And a new potential competitor, The Chew on ABC, seems to have stumbled out the gate. Early Twitter reactions to the premiere have been overwhelmingly negative.