Below is the text of the e-mail sent to America’s Test Kitchen staff from Boston Common Press chief executive David Nussbaum.
As you all know, for many months now members of the Board of Boston Common Press have been negotiating with Chris Kimball, hoping that he would continue to play a highly-valued public role for America’s Test Kitchen. He was asked to stay with the company and focus his talents on creativity, on-air presence and in-person appearances. Despite our interest in having him stay and after negotiating with him in good faith for many months, he ultimately rejected that approach.
We are disappointed that he has chosen a new path, but we respect his choice. While he will remain a minority owner of the company, he will no longer play a role at ATK.
This is an important moment in the history of the publications and broadcast shows under the America’s Test Kitchen banner. While Chris is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities, we have every confidence in all of you - the outstanding team at America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated, and Cook’s Country.
For some time, the Board, senior management and I have been discussing the continued growth and evolution of the company, with a particular focus on maintaining our dynamic, research-based focus on supporting the home cook. At the same time, we look to expand our audiences, maximize the benefits of technology and diversify our team – all initiatives that would benefit from new leadership.
As you know, I joined the company’s Board last summer and became your CEO last month, and Jack Bishop was promoted to Chief Creative Officer.
America’s Test Kitchen remains successful and growing. At our core, ATK is comprised of a strong management team, test cooks, and numerous creative, production and editorial staff who have the rigorous research and development process that has set the gold standard in this industry, embedded in our DNA. That development process is the backbone of our business and I know it is something that each and every one of you is very proud of.
Because of the very loyal and strong support of our subscribers, viewers, and sponsors, our company is financially strong and well-positioned for the future. So as part of the shift to this new era of ATK, I am here to say we are making more investments in you, our employees, who make this an outstanding place to work and who make our home cooks more successful and confident chefs.
Since I arrived, I have listened to you and your ideas for the company and I will work hard with Jack, Fran, Beth, David, Rob, Jackie, Colleen and Adele, and others to propose some specific investments to the Board.
The Board has already committed to adding approximately 25 new people to our company in 2016, to improving our workspace, and to offer career growth opportunities for us all.
Dan and Molly also presented an exciting new business focused on the science of cooking, and we anticipate launching a video and digital business in this sector in 2016.
For more than 25 years, this has been a strong, vibrant, and exciting company. We look forward to a continued exciting future at ATK, Cook’s Illustrated, and Cook’s Country. We will soon be issuing specific announcements about new programs, staff hires, and eventually real estate changes, as we look to enter new markets, diversify our staff and on-air talent, and take further advantage of new technologies.
Although I didn’t get to work much with Chris, I wish him the best of luck in his new adventures and my hope is that we can work closely together to continue to build the ATK brands.
I thank you for your continued commitment to the mission of America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country, and our other enterprises. Should you have any questions, please let me know.