Viewers Appear to Be Losing Their Appetite for Food Network, HGTV NY Post

It appears Food Network and sister network HGTV are losing their appeal to their core female audiences, as both networks had their first major ratings falloff at the end of 2010, writes the New York Post's Claire Atkinson.

Food Network posted a 10.3% drop in the fourth quarter among viewers 25 to 54, a key segment for advertisers, the story says. HGTV, meanwhile, saw a 6.1% drop in fourth-quarter ratings. The two channels have been Scripps Networks’ biggest money makers.

But more troubling may be prime-time ratings for women, which fell 9% last month at Food Network for women 18 to 49 and women 25 to 54, the article adds. Part of the problem may be food-related programming on other networks, such as TLC's "Cake Boss" and Bravo's "Top Chef," at a time when Food Network and HGTV need to introduce new programming, the article says.

"People have a different appetite for food programs. We know edgier cooking shows such as 'Kitchen Nightmares' are doing well," said Gary Lico, president of CableU, a cable TV research group, according to the piece.