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Reese Schonfeld

Biographical Note

The Food Network has arguably had the greatest impact on the way Americans think about food. The network was launched in November 1993 as TVFN with 6.8 million cable subscribers. Scripps, the Food Network's parent company, has started its own magazine based on the popularity of food programs and advertiser demand. In May 2010, Scripps initiated a second 24-hour network of food programming called The Cooking Channel.

It was Reese Schonfeld who got the Food Network going, developing the concept with a group put together by the Providence Journal Company's president Trygve Myhren. Schonfeld was a natural for the job. A longtime TV journalist and entrepreneur, he'd been the first president and chief executive of another big television success story, CNN, which he co-founded with Ted Turner in 1979.

This interview tracks his early life, education, and career. Schonfeld also speaks about the early years of cable television and his participation in it, the original programming concepts and stars at TVFN, and the way the network redefined the image of food and cooking in American homes.

Access Points

Batali, Mario
Child, Julia
Cunningham, Marion
Field, Sally
Flay, Bobby
Hanover, Donna, 1950-
Lagasse, Emeril
Leach, Robin
Myhren, Tryg
Ray, Rachael
Rosengarten, David
Schonfeld, Reese
Turner, Ted

Belo Broadcasting
British Broadcasting Corporation
Cable News Network
Food Channel
Food Network (Firm)
Independent Television News Association
Iron chef (Television program)
Johnson & Wales University. College of Culinary Arts
Providence Journal Company
United Press International

Cable television
Cooking -- United States
Digital television
Direct broadcast satellite television
Food habits -- United States
Television cooking shows

Interview 1, August 18, 2009

Box: Electronic Records, E-records: MSS_309.ref87.1 (Material Type: electronic records)
Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012