shakeup in the food world caught many people off guard. Today the
Board of Directors of Boston Common Press (parent company of
America's Test Kitchen), announced that Christopher Kimball's employment with ATK is
ending. Kimball was one of the founders of Boston Common Press,
which started with a single publication, Cook's Illustrated, back
in 1992. While Kimball's departure is effective immediately, he
will still be the host of the 2016 seasons of the America's Test
Kitchen and Cook's Country television programs.
A contract dispute is blamed for the breakup. David Nussbaum,
CEO of Boston Common Press, said in the announcement that "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." Grubstreet reported that were
signs of a big change in the company earlier
this year, when "Boston Common Press essentially surprised
Kimball with a boss back in September - the company's first-ever
CEO, a media executive from the outside." While Kimball hasn't said
anything about the breakup, rumor is that he and his wife are
considering forming their own company.
Other new additions to the Boston Common Press management
team were announced last week, including the naming
of its first Chief Digital Officer. Jack Bishop was
promoted to to Chief Creative Officer. He will be "responsible for
the creative strategy of the America's Test Kitchen television
program, Cook's Illustrated magazine, Cook's Country magazine and
television show, and America's Test Kitchen's digital and book
content, as well as for new projects."
Reaction by fans has been mixed. Some lament Kimball's
departure, feeling that the soul of the programs is being removed.
Others, however, are not disappointed to see Kimball go, as they
felt that his folksy missives and no-nonsense demeanor had
outlasted their appeal. What do you think of this development for
ATK and CI?