Jon Friedman talks about the early going at Food Network Magazine in his Marketwatch Media Web column, and offers that it may be a model for magazine publishing going forward. Friedman ticks off a few other examples -- Martha Stewart, obviously, and Rachael Ray and ESPN Magazine. I'm not really sure, however, that launching line extensions is really new or different in the media world, as his own examples document. National Geographic has done pretty well going the other way, from magazine to television. Also, TV Guide. Likewise, the Saturday morning outdoor blocks on television -- all the fishing and hunting programs -- were largely the initiative of outdoor magazine people, notably George Bell. Accordingly, does Food Network Magazine represent "media's next wave?"
Probably not, but that doesn't mean that Jon Friedman is missing the point. Leveraging media brands across platforms is standard trade craft; leveraging media bands to create media networks is where it goes next, which is actually something Food Network has been working on online over the past few years. The "Food Network Family" is inclusive of Healthy Eats, Recipezaar.com, Food2 and others. Food Network is becoming a network in a complete sense of the word, sharing the strength of the brand not just across platforms, but across complimentary properties -- properties independent from Food Network's editors.
Do people call this curating? Curating is maybe media's next wave. Hearst -- which publishes Food Network Magazine -- curates magazines. Food Network is curating -- by partnership and through acquisitions -- a food and living lifestyle, which needs no boundaries.