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 He pointed to ATK’s website whywearesuingchristopherkimball.com, which is no longer active.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.”