‘America’s Test Kitchen,’ Christopher Kimball resolve lawsuit

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A heated dispute between producers of popular public TV cooking shows has cooled following a settlement between America’s Test Kitchen and its former CEO and host Christopher Kimball.

The two sides announced an “amicable separation” and resolution to the nearly three-year lawsuit in a Thursday press release. A trial had been scheduled for October.

The release provided few details about the settlement agreement. The two sides “agreed to business terms” that allow ATK and Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street, Kimball’s latest production, to “coexist in the marketplace,” according to the release.

Kimball is also returning his shares in the America’s Test Kitchen media company for an undisclosed price, according to the release. Kimball declined to comment on the agreement.

Kimball co-founded and helped build America’s Test Kitchen into a multimedia company catering to home cooks. ATK produces two public TV cooking series (America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country) and publishes its recipes in magazines and cookbooks. After a 2015 contract dispute, he left the company and launched Milk Street Kitchen, which was later retitled Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street. A year later, ATK filed a lawsuit claiming that Kimball “literally and conceptually ripped off” its content and business model.

Kimball countersued, denying the claims against him and accusing ATK of using the lawsuit as a “nationwide media campaign” that defamed him. He pointed to ATK’s website whywearesuingchristopherkimball.com, which is no longer active.

Kimball told Current in 2018 that the lawsuit hadn’t distracted him from his new production. “You get through the first six months or so, then it’s just background noise,” he said. “There’s actually not much going on. So we go for a month without even thinking about it at this point.”

12 thoughts on “‘America’s Test Kitchen,’ Christopher Kimball resolve lawsuit

  1. Cannot unsubscribe from his shows,when you click to unsubscribe it takes you to another of his sites,,pretty shrewd I would say.

  2. Folks—don’t believe a word about this so-called “lawsuit” against Christopher Kimball. After David Nussbaum became the CEO and chairman of the board of ATK, there was a concerted attempt to RETAIN Kimball, not fire him. Kimball wanted to produce a different show and refused to sign a non-compete agreement. Hence, ATK filed a lawsuit which Kimball correctly called a “publicity stunt.” Chris was a minority owner of ATK and had no motives for harming his own financial investments. It has been Nussbaum who can’t keep his story straight—and here are just of few of his subsequent contradictory statements….

    “We made every effort to offer Chris a reasonable contract that reflected his significant contributions to the company and are disappointed that we could not reach agreement.”

    “It was not a contract fight, it really wasn’t,” says Nussbaum. “It was the company building, along with Chris, a long term succession plan and Chris saying that he wanted to do something a little bit different as well. We still maintain good relations (I had lunch with him last week) and work together on the radio show, so it’s really evolving — it’s not any kind of revolutionary change.”

    “Chris is an owner of the company and continues to be and wants to see this company thrive….”

    “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.”

    Respect his choice? ATK “respected his choice” by filing a nuisance suit against Kimball to divert attention from their own egregious bungling of the situation. The real villain here is not Kimball, or Julia, or Bridget, or Dan, or Bryan, or Erin….etc.

  3. As a member of the public viewing audience, I’m just glad I get another cooking show. I like the fact that Milk Street focuses on cuisines from around the world.

  4. America’s test kitchen/cook’s country just isn’t the same without Christopher Kimball. Loved what his personality brought to the show. I definitely don’t follow the show like I used to. Miss you Chris!

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