Paula Deen is ready for a major comeback, and she wants to do it online.
The former Food Network star is giving her TV career a rest to launch a new subscription-based Paula Deen Network online in September. The network will be a mix of Deen’s recipes, tips and cooking videos.
“I can’t wait to crank up the oven and get cooking for the people I love: my family, my friends and my fans!” wrote Deen on her website.
Deen’s comeback gained steam after her company, Paula Deen Ventures, received a multimillion-dollar investment in February from Najafi Media, an affiliate of Najafi Cos., a private investment firm with stakes in the Phoenix Suns basketball team and other companies.
To promote her new network Deen has launched a national tour and plans to visit cities across the country for book signings and a number of live shows. She also has a week-long Paula and family cruise to Haiti, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico, in July.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Deen said she had offers to do a new TV show, but that after researching and talking to her fans she realized they wanted to be able to watch her anywhere, anytime.
“IPads are so much lighter to tote around than a TV,” said Deen. “The fans are going to see things they have never seen before. They are going to see all of me.”
Deen was once the reigning queen of Southern cuisine on TV, made famous by her drawl and her often heavy use of butter and mayonnaise. A scandal that involved Deen admitting using a racial epithet in the past led to her firing from the Food Network and the loss of multiple endorsement deals.
Despite the scandal, many of Deen’s fans have remained loyal. Fans frequently leave comments on her Facebook page saying they miss her show and condemning a 2013 “Today” show interview with her as unfair.
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