Name: Brooke Johnson
Title: President, Food Network
Age: 50
Years in Industry: 25
Years left in Industry: “Many”

 

Why Her? Take one look at Johnson’s questionnaire, and it’s pretty clear that this woman loves food! And so, it seems, do cable TV viewers who over the years have responded swimmingly to Food Net’s content and fueled its meteoric rise. The net has propelled the likes of Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay to superTVstardom, and Johnson seems to relish her net’s kingmaking reputation. Meanwhile, Food Network continues to keep itself on top of consumers’ minds thanks to the excellent marketing skills of Michael Smith, svp, marketing and creative services. Smith has helped grow Food from a “little cooking show” channel to the massive multiplatform force it is today. Some of that’s also thanks to the off-air brand extension strategies of Susie Folgelson, vp, consumer marketing (She snags more than 50 brand partnerships a year!). But it’s what’s on-air that keeps people coming back for seconds. Whether it’s expertly repackaging a hit show from Japan (“Iron Chef America,” which Johnson has extended into a reality series as well) or coming up with fresh originals like “Ace of Cakes” or “2 Dudes Catering,” Johnson’s Food Net seems to have its finger on the pulse of food culture. After all, who can resist watching Iron Chef Flay surprise unsuspecting gourmet-wannabes with a sudden “Throwdown” cooking contest? Or Robert Irvine struggling to survive “Dinner: Impossible”? This kind of delicious drama is simply addictive. It’s as if we’re  constantly craving more and more. Kind of like food itself. Mmmmmm… good.  MG

 

In my free time, I like to: “Eat.”
Favorite restaurant: “Emeril’s, Bar American, Del Posto, Morimoto.”
Favorite city: “New York City”
Favorite line from a movie or TV show: “Allez Cuisine!”
Three things I would take with me to a desert island: “Breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

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