You’ve probably heard the news that Paula Deen was fired from her Food Network show. I don’t think I have enough of the full story to warrant an opinion on whether her firing was the most appropriate result (although I do think there’s more below the surface). Truth be told, I’ve never really watched one of her shows, although I may have enjoyed a recipe or two. However I think it’s safe to say that Deen’s career in traditional broadcast media is essentially over – but while one door closes, another one opens for old media outcasts: New Media.
I realize that Paula’s first foray into YouTube wasn’t that successful, her future lies with the video service. Deen needs to create a channel, put a camera in her kitchen and create bite-sized (no pun intended) cooking videos for her audience. With the proliferation of mobile devices, YouTube is the first place people go to get instructions. The ability to have someone demonstrate to me in the environment (like in the kitchen, for example) and go at your own pace by pausing is transcendent. YouTube has been invaluable with helping me re-grout my shower, patch our bathtub, and fix my lawn mower. The recipe books we have in our kitchen go unopened because any time we’re craving to cook something new, we go straight to the Internet. Paula can produce the same content she’s done on the Foot Network for years, at a fraction of the cost. Not only will she go where her audience is at, but she will give it to them in a format that would be more valuable to them.
Deen just needs to look to people like Adam Carolla and Leo Laporte when it comes to finding success in new media, which goes back to why podcasts are so great. You can find niche content, in a long format that isn’t convoluted with commercials. Hearing Bill Simmons lament the NBA Pre-Game Show format assures me that in terms of quality of content: new media guys understand what makes this format better than the traditional broadcast format. It’s only a matter of time before more traditional media folks embrace this, in one way or another.