Bam! Lagasse Spreads His Wings
March 4, 2008 12:15 PM
Chef Emeril Lagasse, long a staple of the Food Network, is extending his reach. Last year Food Network said it was suspending production of “Emeril Live,” but continuing to work with the chef and restaurant owner and renewing “The Essence of Emeril.”
That didn’t sound like good news. Late last month, Lagasse signed a $50 million deal, which could grow to $70 million if certain terms are met, with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. That means Stewart’s company will have the rights to his television shows, Web site, cookbooks and other products sold under his name. The deal does not include his stable of restaurants.
At the time, executives from Food lauded the Lagasse/Stewart deal, saying it was a win-win situation.
But is it? I don’t think so. Sure, Food still has Lagasse, but he soon will start appearing on another cable network.
Come this summer, Lagasse will have a new show on Discovery’s eco-friendly Planet Green, the new moniker for Discovery Home.
Planet Green, in conjunction with Whole Foods, will give Lagasse a nightly show that will be shot on location at the Whole Foods store in the nation’s capital. The chef will do a show using products right from the shelves and aisles of Whole Foods.
That’s an ingenious marketing ploy, and I applaud Discovery, which morphs Discovery Home into Planet Green this summer, for its creativity in grabbing a big name for the channel’s launch.