Deirdre O’Hearn to Replace Bob Tuschman as Food Network SVP

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Courtesy of Food Network

Bob Tuschman, the veteran programmer whose time at Food Network dates back to the days before it featured Paula Deen, will leave the Scripps Networks-owned cable outlet at the end of the month, and will be replaced by  Deirdre “Didi” O’Hearn, who will serve as senior vice president, programming and development for the network and its sister outlet, Cooking Channel.

The move is the latest in a series of changes made at Scripps since Kathleen Finch was appointed the company’s chief programming, content and brand officer in August. Brooke Johnson, who supervised programming at Food Network for more than a decade, introducing more reality-competition programs and shows featuring celebrities who were not chefs, stepped down from her post last August as well.

“Since joining Food Network and Cooking Channel in 2014, it was quickly apparent that Didi’s skills and expertise represent exactly the creative leadership our beloved brands require,” said Finch in a statement. “She was a driving force behind 2015’s successful programming slate, with titles such as ‘Chopped Junior’ and ‘Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition’ as just two examples of Didi’s creative instinct driving double-digit ratings gains. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a talented and well-respected executive seated next to me as we look ahead for future growth opportunities.”

In her new role, O’Hearn will oversee the programming team, lead development strategy for programming across both nets, in addition to identifying and developing new network talent, and managing relationships with outside production partners.

O’Hearn previously served as vice president, development and talent, for WE tv. Prior to that, she served as vice president at the New York office of non-fiction media producer Darlow Smithson Productions, and also held numerous roles at A&E Television Networks, most recently as vice president of Non-Fiction and Alternative Programming.

Tuschman, who joined the company in 1998, was also a familiar figure in front of the camera at the network, having served as a judge on competition series “Food Network Star.”

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  1. Debbie Smallridge says:

    I though things had changed simply for Summer schedule. Thank you for the information. Now I know not to waste my time looking for real chef’s on “the food network”. Very disappointing.

  2. Diane Herrlett says:

    I have stopped watching the shows from 4-6. They took off Giada, Barefoot, Pioneer Woman and Trisha for ridiculous competitions. This was my go to relaxing time after work.

  3. Maryjane Schmidt says:

    I have been so disappointed in the current programming of the Food Network. My main problem is what seems to be the emphasis on alcohol – mixing and consumption. It seems everyone should be having cocktails from breakfast to dinner and beyond. And from the snickers and chuckles of the show hosts, overindulging is encouraged. Does anyone there have any idea of the number of alcoholics in our country? Are you looking to increase the number? The Food Network started out to be the one channel I could go to and not have to deal with bad language, alcohol consumption, immoral behavior, etc. That has sadly changed. Maybe you should go back to the beginning.

  4. JJ says:

    This explains why the Food Network has gone downhill. I’ve noticed terrible program changes and decisions. Chopped Junior?? I thought it couldn’t get any worse, but it has. I hardly watch the channel at all anymore. I tune in once in awhile for Pioneer Woman and that’s about it. Maybe horrible ratings will get them to make changes.

  5. FMarie Segal says:

    No wonder regular program schedules have been interrupted! Please put daytime back where it used to be. I’m tired of Chopped and Diner, drive-ins and Dives running all day long.Executives changes should not deprive stay-at-home invalids of what they like to see on the food network during the afternoons !!! Please put them back where they used to be.

    • jeanne wetherbee says:

      please put regular chefs on 1to 5pm in chicago i have complained many times and so have many more. this new programmer is doing a horrid job please fix or is the network going off the air

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