Emeril to add spice to Shop at Home sales force
Wed, June 15, 2005 by Cindy McConkey
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Shop at Home Network is kicking it up a notch, with an agreement that serves up Chef Emeril Lagasse as a regular on the network’s menu. Lagasse, who helped make Food Network one of the hottest properties in cable television, has entered an exclusive agreement to work with Shop at Home over the next year on a variety of new sales platforms within the electronic retailer’s kitchen category.The agreement includes a series of Shop at Home specials hosted by Lagasse plus a regular, weekly segment featuring the chef who made “Bam!” a pop-culture term. “This was the vision from the beginning,” said Judy Girard, who headed up Food Network for seven years before becoming president of Shop at Home in 2004, shortly after Scripps Networks acquired the electronic retailer. Scripps owns both networks, along with the other popular lifestyle brands HGTV, DIY Network and FINE LIVING. Most recently, Scripps purchased the country music network Great American Country.“Our lifestyle brands have such passionate audiences, people who strongly identify with everything related to home and food, and no one has a more loyal following than Emeril,” Girard added. “For years, viewers have e-mailed Food Network asking, ‘Where can I get that cookware,’ or ‘How can I find that utensil Emeril used on his show?’ The platforms we are creating allow Emeril to combine his desire to teach with his passion to share products that make cooking easy.”The first of three live specials will premiere during prime time in July, with two more slated for September and November air dates. As the host of From Emeril’s Kitchen on Shop at Home, Lagasse will demonstrate cooking products and detail the product’s features and benefits while using them to prepare a variety of recipes. Lagasse, whose top-rated show Emeril Live! has been a staple on Food Network for more than a decade, also will involve sous chefs from his test kitchen in New Orleans. The weekly segments of From Emeril’s Kitchen will be hosted by chefs and experts trained by Lagasse, who also will be a part of the series via taped appearances from his New Orleans test kitchen and from his kitchen at the Food Network studios. Cooking themes, such as easy summer dishes, cooking with kids and holiday entertaining, will be reflected in the presentation and product mix. Each segment will premiere in prime time with re-airings during weekend daytime and various day parts through the week. Merchandise sold during the specials and weekly series will incorporate a wide variety of products for the kitchen, including cookware, utensils, small appliances and food products – many of which are used regularly by Lagasse on the Food Network. Some of the products are directly affiliated with Lagasse, bearing the popular Chef’s name, while others have been hand picked by Lagasse for sale on Shop at Home.“We’re going to make it fun and easy,” Lagasse said. “All anyone has to do is watch and shop From Emeril’s Kitchen. This brings the process full circle for anyone who loves to cook or for someone who is just learning to cook.”Scripps Networks will take advantage of the popularity and reach of Food Network, now in nearly 87 million households, as well as its Web site averaging 6.5 million unique visitors each month, to cross promote From Emeril’s Kitchen. On-air and online promotions will direct consumers to Lagasse’s new cooking series at Shop at Home and to the Web sites at ShopatHomeTV.com and the store at FoodNetwork.com where customers can purchase Lagasse’s merchandise in his newly created mini-store. “Emeril is one of the most recognizable and popular talents on television and has touched millions of people with his warmth, charisma and energy,” said John Lansing, president of Scripps Networks. “He has been vital to Food Network’s growth and we’re looking forward to what comes from expanding this relationship to include Shop at Home.” Since Scripps acquired Shop at Home at the close of 2002, the merchandising mix has shifted to include more home-related and lifestyle-oriented products, such as bed and bath, home accessories, furnishings, crafting and cookware. Other on-air hosts from the Scripps’ brands, including HGTV’s Joan Steffend and crafting expert Carol Duvall, have demonstrated and sold products in these expanding categories on Shop at Home.“We have experienced good growth in these categories, and we see the opportunity for even more success,” Girard said. “Our customers look to us for quality products they want and can trust. With Emeril’s expertise, not to mention his thoroughly contagious enthusiasm for cooking, From Emeril’s Kitchen will become the destination of choice for anyone interested in products for the kitchen.”Lagasse became adept in the art of bread and pastry making as a boy in a Portuguese bakery in his Fall River, Mass., neighborhood. He later followed his culinary dream and worked his way through the Johnson and Wales University culinary program, earning a doctorate degree. From the day its doors opened in 1990, Emeril’s Restaurant drew ecstatic praise. Following the success of Emeril's Restaurant, Lagasse opened eight more establishments: NOLA, in New Orleans in 1992; Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas in 1995; Emeril’s Delmonico’s in New Orleans in 1998; Emeril’s Orlando at Universal Studios and Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas in 1999; and Emeril’s Tchoup Chop in Orlando, Emeril’s Atlanta and another Emeril’s Miami Beach all in 2003. About Shop at Home NetworkShop at Home Network is a nationally televised home shopping service that sells merchandise through interactive electronic media, including broadcast, cable and satellite television. The company also operates a Web site at www.shopathometv.com. Shop at Home has a full-time distribution to 53 million households through nearly 500 affiliated television, cable and direct broadcast satellite systems, including DIRECTV (Channel 234) and DISH Network (Channel 224).About Scripps NetworksScripps Networks is the leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet, where on-air programming is complemented with online content. In addition, Scripps Networks is aggressively developing its emerging media, including video on demand, broadband and Hispanic programming. Scripps Networks’ brands collectively are available in more than 95 countries on six continents. They also are distributed to 1,000 outlets on U.S. military bases and U.S. embassies around the world via the American Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Nashville, and Englewood, Colo., Scripps Networks is owned by The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE:SSP), a diverse media concern with interests in newspaper publishing, broadcast television, national television networks, interactive media, and television retailing. Scripps operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 broadcast TV stations, Scripps Howard News Service and United Media.