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Carlton abandons Taste

Niche food channel cost partners $14 million

LONDON — Carlton Communications has pulled the plug on the Taste Network, the ITV company’s joint venture TV channel with U.K. supermarket group Sainsbury’s.

The digital channel was not yet a year old and represented a 50-50 investment of £10 million ($14 million).

Taste was created through a combination of Carlton’s Food Network channel, set up in 1996, and Sainsbury’s online businesses. The channel will for now continue as a wholly-owned Carlton business but is undergoing an operating review.

Carlton is under pressure to find savings because of the downtown in U.K. advertising and continuing investment in ITV Digital, the troubled pay TV platform co-owned by Carlton and Granada Media, the other big ITV company.

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