Brooke Johnson, the president of Scripps Networks Interactive’s food lifestyle brands that include Food Network and Cooking Channel, is retiring after 12 years with the company. Johnson is best known for adding spice to Food Network by ramping up the competition programs that include overseeing the creation of Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen and Food Network Star in addition to the popular Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives staring network staple Guy Fieri. The injection boosted Food Network’s ratings and led to the launch of sister network Cooking Channel, though they mostly jettisoned the steady diet of how-to cooking shows featuring chefs that became stars because of those series and put the network on the map originally, including the likes of Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse.
Johnson, who started at Scripps in 2003 after launching the Biography Channel at A&E Networks, will continue to serve as a consultant to Scripps Networks Interactive through the end of 2016. An announcement regarding the leadership of Food Network moving forward is coming soon.
“Brooke Johnson has been one of the key driving forces behind the success of Food Network since she joined the company,” said Scripps Networks Interactive president and CEO Kenneth Lowe in a statement today. “Food Network touches hundreds of millions of consumers every month, through shows including ‘Food Network Star’ and ‘Guy’s Grocery Games’ and through its many brand extensions. We’re very grateful to Brooke for her passion and hard work in building one of the strongest media brands around, and I’m gratified that the company will continue to benefit from her expertise and insight in a consultative capacity.”
Before A&E, Johnson was program director for WABC-TV in New York, where she launched the local and then national syndication of Live! With Regis And Kathie Lee.