Christopher Kimball’s America’s Test Kitchen Days Are Through
The Brookline-based company that produces America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Country, Cook’s Illustrated, and other food media has announced today that the well-known face of its products has left.
Christopher Kimball is no longer employed by Boston Common Press, the company said today. First reported in the Boston Globe, the reason is related to a contract dispute between the Cook’s Illustrated cofounder and the growing media company.
“We made every effort to offer Chris a reasonable contract that reflected his significant contributions to the company and are disappointed that we could not reach agreement,” the company’s newly-instated CEO David Nussbaum said in a statement.
Nussbaum has served on the Boston Common Press board since July, and was installed as its first-ever CEO in September. At the time, the Boston Globe reported rumors that Kimball would be leaving; a spokesperson for the company told Boston magazine there was “no truth at all” to that story, adding that Kimball’s role wasn’t changing. As president of America’s Test Kitchen, he hosted the namesake television program as well as Cook’s Country and related radio shows, and edited Cook’s Illustrated magazine.
Because the 2016 episodes of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country have already been filmed, Kimball will remain as host for the season.
Nussbaum was brought on as CEO to oversee the growing media company. His longterm plans include launching new shows, updating web sites, expanding online education programs, and adding more social interaction on the company’s websites, according to a press release.
In the weeks since Nussbaum’s hiring, ATK has also announced other managerial changes. A new vice president of human resources and organization development starts today, a new chief financial officer begins December 1, and Fran Middleton, who joined the company as vice president of digital products last year, was recently promoted to ATK’s chief digital officer. The new position was created to reflect the industry-wide trend of media companies moving toward integrated digital platforms. “In this expanded role, Middleton will build a digital roadmap for all online products related to America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country, as well as new endeavors,” a press release stated. “In addition to software development, he is responsible for digital design, product management, and eCommerce.”
The company also recently promoted Jack Bishop to chief creative officer. The longtime ATK editor is now responsible for the creative strategy of the company’s current and new projects. When he was promoted earlier this fall, ATK said it would hire an additional 25 team members in the coming months.