FLN, aka the Fine Living Network and sister channel to the Food Network, is no more. In its place, Scripps Networks has launched the Cooking Channel.
The Cooking Channel may sound like Scripps is just trying to clone its success with the Food Network, but according to an article in today’s edition of USA Today, that’s not the case. After all, who wants to be their own competition, splitting their audience and depleting ratings?
Instead, Cooking Channel represents an attempt by Scripps to expand its audience to a broader demographic by appealing to the hipster set of the day. Or, as USA Today describes them, “a sophisticated group of people in their 20s and 30s who brew their own beer and drink Pabst Blue Ribbon only with tongue firmly in cheek. Having grown up on sushi, they’re ready to learn about sweetbreads — carved from grass-fed cows, of course.”
The Cooking Channel is being populated with faces both new and familiar, with the latter taking the shape of big-name migrants from the Food Network like Bobby Flay and Rachel Ray, who are launching younger-skewing shows on CC as a means of giving the net a strong base on which to start. A few years down the road, after it’s found its footing, the Cooking Channel will take on its own identity and send the big-name cooks back to Food Network.
That’s assuming, of course, that Cooking Channel remains a second-place contender compared to its forebear. Should CC manage to overtake Food Network in the ratings, then you can probably expect to see Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, and Alton Brown jumping ship to join their colleagues.