Show host Kimball leaves company he founded

NEW YORK • Christopher Kimball, the face of the public television show America's Test Kitchen and of the magazine Cook's Illustrated, is leaving the company he helped found after a contract dispute.

Boston Common Press, the parent company of America's Test Kitchen, announced the decision on Monday in a statement on its website.

"Christopher Kimball's employment with America's Test Kitchen is ending," the company said.

He will leave immediately, although he will host the 2016 seasons of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country, another popular show that the company produces.

He will remain a minority owner of the company, though he will have no operational role, according to an e-mail sent to employees.

"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," Mr David Nussbaum, chief executive of Boston Common Press, said in the statement.

"We know this change will be a surprise to many, but we are confident that the ensemble cast, 50 test cooks and support team for America's Test Kitchen will continue to offer our audiences the same high-quality product going forward."

Kimball, 64, whose signature bow tie, round spectacles and parted hair belied his status as one of America's most influential home cooks, founded the company with the idea that everybody should understand how to cook.

The company, which began with the first issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine in the early 1990s, started the America's Test Kitchen show in 2001 and became a cooking empire that included Cook's Country magazine and a television show of the same name, three websites and an online cooking school.

Kimball declined to comment.

Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country both come out six times a year and contain no advertising. The company said Cook's Illustrated has 900,000 paid subscribers and Cook's Country has 300,000.

The move by Boston Common Press follows an earlier management shake-up at America's Test Kitchen. In September, the company, based in Brookline, Massachusetts, brought on Mr Nussbaum as its first chief executive.

At the time, a company spokesman told Boston Magazine that Kimball would remain at the company and that his role would not change.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2015, with the headline 'Show host Kimball leaves company he founded'. Print Edition | Subscribe