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Scripps Buys User-Gen Recipes Site Recipezaar; Reportedly Around $25 Million

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Scripps Networks, which has been looking at bulking up its online effort with acquisitions, has made one: it has bought Recipezaar, a Seattle-area based online recipe site. It was started in 1999 under the name by former Microsoft employees Gay Gilmore and Troy Hakala, Recipezaar recorded 2.3 million unique visitors in June. The site has user-generated recipe and community site featuring more than 230K recipes, the company said. Pricing wasn’t disclosed, but John Cook’s Venture Blog on SeattlePI had a post yesterday about the price being close to $25 million.

Recipezaar will operate as a stand-alone brand within Scripps, separately from Deanna Brown, president of Scripps Networks Interactive Group, will be speaking at our LA Mid Year Review ContentNext Mixer next week, and I will get some more details on Scripps’ M&A strategy then.

This follows other M&A in the recipes sector: last year was bought by Readers Digest company for $66 million. Also last year, CNET bought French food site Art Culinaire. Time Inc launched an extensive food portal called earlier this year.

A good profile of Recipezaar in this Seattle BizJournals story from last year: “Couple write winning recipe for business

8 Responses to “Scripps Buys User-Gen Recipes Site Recipezaar; Reportedly Around $25 Million”

  1. As a Premium Member of the Zaar I am deeply disappointed.
    There are many sites online where one can access and/or post recipes.
    What made Zaar special, successful and a stand out site was the use friendliness and family feel. On the old Zaar if you searched for and clicked on a recipe what came up was other members pictures and reviews. If you clicked on the pics they would enlarge which gave it a homey, personal feel worth paying for. Now the recipe is crammed in the middle of a very busy three column page with a link to member reviews and shrunken photo that can not be enlarged.
    I have given a Zaar memberships as gifts to family and my daughter has had some of her friends join. None of us our renewing. Zaar is just another corporate site now making no effort to maintain quality or serve a loyal and now disappointed member base.

  2. I am known as 'foodtvfan' at recipezaar and I experienced the same problem of not being able to access recipezaar for a whole day! It did come back the next day but since then I do not have much confidence in the website.
    If I had know these changes were going to be made I would not have renewed my premium membership recently!
    If there is a way to cancel my membership and get a refund for the unused portion of it I would appreciate it. I do think all premium members should have been contacted and offered an option whether to continue with their premium membership or not. Thanks.
    Respectfully, Burnice

  3. Man! I'm glad that I'm a "Non-Premium Member" (aka, second-class citizen) over on Recipezaar. I've got lots of Recipes and photos over there though and I gave no one permission to seel them….. not without a cut anyway.

  4. Staci D. Kramer

    It looks like the issue may be the result of a server address change — I can see the site just fine and can use it but two of my colleagues are getting the page. This can be a side effect of changing servers — it can take days sometimes for the rest of the net to catch up. We'll let you know if something else is involved.

  5. deroche

    Posting a comment I made to someone's blog here because I am frustrated and don't know where else to turn for answers on this……What the heck is going on????????????? Where is recipezaar and more importantly where are MY recipes.Recipes created and photographed by me and saved to my private cookbooks. This is not a good start at all for recipezaar who posted information about the sale on their site and assured us that little was going to change. At the very least they could have informed us the loyal customers that the site was going to be down for a while. This is a great inconvenience. I cater events and need access to my recipes. So that's money down the drain for me. Also a large part of Recipezaar's attraction is the warm and closeknit community of cooks around the world. Cutting off our ability to communicate to people who have become friends over a shared love of cooking is cruel. I have no way now of contacting my zaar friends. Is this the treatment we can look forward to from Scripps. This is the worst service I have ever recieved in my life for a paid for service. Way to lose all your customers and thus your sucess Troy Gay and Scripps!

  6. buster's friend

    As a paying "premium Member" of the Recipezaar "community" I feel very shabbily treated with the sudden loss of the Recipezaar site (no courtesy email about the changes upcoming , hence no opportunity to recoup unused "membership" payments). I am unable to access recipes I stored there (yeah, this is waaaay better than keeping them in a cookbook in my kitchen…not!). I am suddenly without access to the benefits of PAID "PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP" or even the foremrly free access. WASSSUP? In the "dash for the cash" it seems PAID "PREMIUM MEMBES" are getting hung out by the shorthairs with no access, no one to contact for info about changes, no choice in continuing with or opting out – in short, totally ignored except for being "sold" as "asets". I want my data at the very least. Some sort of explanation would be decent & would lend itself to improved (or some) consumer relations. BTW – PAID "PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP" was supposed to eliminate those *&^&**## popup ads. What a trash site – is! Thanks former Recipezaar "elves" – It was an educational consumer experience with y'all!
    BTW – could the author of this article pass these comments onto whoever will be tending to our PAID "PREMIUM MEMBERSHIPS"? Would really appreciate some contact info as I am reasonable certain the Noveau Riche, formerly known as Recipezaar "elves" are no longer concerned with PAID "PREMIUM MEMBERS". Thank you.

  7. I just went there too and it is gone. I got bombarded with pop up ads. Real nice!

    Anyone want to chat about it or see some info on freezer cooking / OAMC / Money saving type foods, come over to cooktosave dot com.

  8. Trilby

    Wow. I have contributed several original recipes to RecipeZaar. When do I get my cut? Seriously, I was trying to access the site just now and, with no explanation, kept getting shunted to a really annoying page that looks like it might have recipes but doesn't. I, for one, will never use RecipeZaar again, Scripps. There are other places to go.