There’s good news this week for beleaguered celebrity chef Paula Deen: not only will Hoffman Media continue to publish her magazine, but they will also pick up her new cookbook, Paula Deen’s New Testament, for publishing. Celebrity Cafe broke the news on Wednesday:
The company that publishes Paula Deen’s magazine will also publish her new cookbook.
Hoffman Media began publishing Cooking With Paula Deen six times a year beginning in 2005. The magazine reaches approximately 350,000 readers. Hoffman Media is one of the few companies that still support Paula Deen.
In a press release, the company stated:
In response to recent news coverage, Hoffman Media, LLC (HM), a leading special-interest publisher based in Birmingham, Alabama, and publisher of Cooking with Paula Deen magazine, today announced that it is continuing to publish the magazine.
Eric Hoffman, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Hoffman Media, released the following statement:
“Hoffman Media has worked closely with Ms. Deen since 2005. The recent images portrayed by the media do not reflect the person we know on a personal or a professional level.
“In the eight years that we have collaborated with Ms. Deen, we have witnessed her consistent generosity toward numerous charities, from hunger relief and battered women to a Savannah-based orphanage, to name a few. Most recently, she launched The Bag Lady Foundation to empower women and families in their time of need.”
In closing, Mr. Hoffman said: “We are aware of the hurt that has been generated in the media in recent weeks. To be clear, Hoffman Media does not condone the use of offensive, discriminatory language or behavior. With that said, we feel that Ms. Deen’s apology for past indiscretions was heartfelt and genuine. Our partnership will move forward with greater sensitivity and understanding.”
Eric Hoffman told the New York Post of the groundswell of support for Paula Deen by her fans:
When asked if there had been negative reaction from advertisers pulling ads or threatening to do so, he said, “No, none so far.”
On the consumer side, there has been no negative reaction. Indeed, subscribers have rushed to Deen’s defense, according to Hoffman.
“We noticed the opposite problem — readers said if we dropped the magazine they would cancel subscriptions to other magazines we publish,” he said.
While he said the company is not currently marketing the magazine, he expected to launch a one million direct-mail campaign in the fall as a way to build subscribers.
The concept behind Paula Deen’s New Testament stems from her diabetes diagnosis in 2012. The book’s subtitle, 250 Favorite Recipes All Lightened Up, displays Deen’s intent to offer healthier fare for her fans (like me) who want to cook Southern favorites in a lighter way. The title of the upcoming book also plays off the title of her 2011 bestseller Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible.
It’s worth noting that the publisher standing behind Paula Deen is a Southern company. Between this news and the continued success at The Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba’s restaurants in Savannah, Deen looks poised to bounce back – and of course that’s buttery rich news for legions of her fans.