Monday, September 18, 2006

Attention Foodies: CNET Cooks Up

Ok, I understood the brand extension reasoning behind, a "high-quality source of business thought leadership" content that CNET launched last spring. And CNET TV - seems totally logical.

I wouldn't have predicted a food site on the CNET menu, but I suspect they've given it a bit more thought than I have. As a PR person, one has to admire the carefully seasoned launch, which served up a New York Times preview (registration required) as an August appetizer, a month before the public beta went live. (I feel somewhat vindicated by the Times description of CNET as
"an unlikely purveyor" of a food site.)

But CHOW won't be your Father's food site. Today's press release announcing the beta reports that "CHOW provides a place for a new breed of food enthusiasts to share and grow their interests through recipes, features, how-to pieces, personality profiles restaurant reviews and more." The release says CHOW was "created to super-serve a segment of younger, more knowledgeable and opinionated food enthusiasts..." Since it targets users aged 25-49, I suspect I'll feel more at home at my much loved, which the Times regards as serious competition, due to its shared parentage with the venerable pubs Gourmet and Bon App├ętit.

Alas, I fear "venerable" is a telltale word. CHOW is chomping at a new, hipper demographic.


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