In The Soup: AOL Launches Revamped Food Channel

Aol./Campbells

Focused on fleshing out its niche content verticals, AOL on Wednesday relaunched its reimagined food channel.

Targeting busy home cooks rather than expert foodies, KitchenDaily, so-called, features thousands of recipes tested by AOL-approved chefs, food magazines and cookbook publishers, as well as brand partners like Campbell's.

"We aim to offer real food for real life," said Stephanie Dolgins, SVP of AOL Women's and Lifestyle Group. "KitchenDaily is designed to help busy home cooks -- moms in particular -- make smart, informed decisions about food and cooking."

Cheryl Brown, formerly of Condé Nast's now-deceased Gourmet magazine and Wondertime magazine, is the editor in chief and Megan Steintrager, formerly of Epicurious.com, is the senior editor of the site.

"We want to be the go-to site for anything a busy cook might need," said Brown. Brown most recently served as managing editor of Disney's Wondertime magazine.

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Industry partners include The Culinary Institute of America, celebrity chefs Curtis Stone and Marcus Samuelsson and Food & Wine Special Projects Coordinator Gail Simmons. Additional contributions will be made by former Gourmet food editors such as Kemp Minifie, Ruth Cousineau, and Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez.

Parts of AOL's existing Food Channel will remain, including a Grilling Hub and Dinner Tonight page. Its Slashfood blog will continue to exist, but as a separate, stand-alone site focused more on food news and culture.

KitchenDaily and Slashfood are part of the AOL Living network, which also includes AOL Health, general interest site Lemondrop.com, Parentdish.com, and StyleList.com, to name a few.

The still-struggling AOL remains focused on the creation of more original -- rather than repurposed -- content. A year ago, AOL licensed as much as 80% of its content, while today, the company says it generates 80% of it.

Last year, AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong outlined a new five-point strategy for the future of the company, including the continued expansion of its communication tools, vertical content, local and online mapping services, its third-party ad network, and early-stage investment through a newly formed AOL Ventures arm.

The new, independent AOL is being positioned less as a Web portal and more as a fragmented network of niche content sites. Its MediaGlow network aims to eventually encompass about 100 niche content sites.

 

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