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Paula Deen launches online show one year after split with Food Network over racism controversy

Celebrity chef Paula Deen

Celebrity chef Paula Deen

NEW YORK — One year after her split with the Food Network, can Paula Deen reconnect with her fans online?

She’s going to try, with the new Paula Deen Network, a subscription Web site that will feature cooking shows, recipes and tools.

“You can throw out your TV now, because this is where you can find me,” Deen says, holding up an iPad in a promotional video for the site, which is supposed to start streaming videos in September.

With the network, announced on Wednesday, Deen becomes the latest media personality to circumvent traditional television and establish a direct connection to subscribers. It remains to be seen if these streaming video sites can become viable businesses.

The network announcement came from Paula Deen Ventures, a company Deen set up earlier this year with investor Jahm Najafi. The company includes her restaurants, cookbooks, cookware, and other Deen-branded products and events.

“The Paula Deen Network is one more example of Paula doing things her own way and taking control of her brand to connect directly with her ardent fans,” Najafi said in a statement.

Last July, Deen’s longtime partners at the Food Network severed ties with her, depriving her of an outlet for her multiple cooking television series.

The Food Network’s decision came amid declining ratings for her shows and the revelation that she had once used a racist slur to describe an African American man. Her admission came during testimony in a racial discrimination lawsuit against her. The lawsuit was later dismissed.

Deen has been determined to rebuild her media brand, and the online network is a significant step in that direction.

Steven Nanula, the chief executive of Deen’s new company, said that Deen “had several offers to return to broadcast television.” He did not specify which TV networks were interested.

Nanula said that by going online instead, Deen would gain “a greater level of direct access to her millions of fans” and “full creative control of the shows, recipes and content.”

Deen and her partners did not specify how much they would charge for the streaming network. They said they’d promote a 14-day free trial in September.

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Filed in: News

14 comments

  • FaithC

    Glad she is back. One of the best cooking shows ever. Also glad she is on internet, I don’t have cable or watch TV anymore.

  • Stool Byrd

    It is my feeling that she would be a great lover and would never let you go hungry afterwards, that’s what daddy is talking about.

  • jliles1205

    With the breathtaking racism displayed on the likes of msnbc, abc, nbc the comedy channel.. Deen’s only mistake was being honest. Nearly every day some lefty wag reveals a Christophobic, racist or homophobic heart.

  • Jethro Bodnick

    Great News!!!! I hope she makes alot of money with this….was all a bunch of nonsense when she was torn down by the NAACP, but I can guarantee all these black folk have her books in their kitchen! Oh wait, they dont cook anything but meth…they have food stamp cards to be able to sell to their friends for cigs and beer…why would they have a cook book in their home…sorry, my mistake!

    • lavonne

      I love her too. I am awaiting the cost to be posted also. Free in September, wonder if price will known then.

  • Stan & Kathie Blow

    We always supported Paula & I think she should be on Cable TV as that is what we pay for & We will not pay any more to watch anyone outside of free on the internet or cable as that is enough expense. We want to see her & know she can work out something on cable!!!!

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