At age 20, the Food Network is in the midst of a sharp drop in viewership. Time to think big, maybe venture back to shows about quality cooking rather than comfort food? Nope, writes Jesse David Fox at Vulture. He, for one, has returned to the network as a regular viewer precisely because it's become an "audio-visual" version of comfort food. That is, he can zone out while watching shows like Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives or give in to the "hypnotic embrace" of, say, a marathon of Chopped. "Establishing yourself as a zone-out destination is not a terrible business plan," he writes. "The ratings for HGTV—another network that many people spend hours on with little memory of—are only climbing."
Food Network execs, then, shouldn't think big at all. "There is always a place for something satisfyingly filling that you don’t ever plan for, you’re just happy it’s there. After all, Folgers is still the top-selling ground coffee in the US." Click for the full piece, in which Fox writes that the network helped create a nation of foodies, but "gave them the knowledge and skills to eventually turn their noses up at the network and move on." He was one of those who moved on—but now he's back. (Read more Food Network stories.)