Bob Tuschman Interview: Former Food Network Exec Now Gets Top Ratings at NYU
Diana Landau | September 21, 2021
Carl talks with Bob Tuschman, former Food Network Senior Vice President and General Manager. Plus he's had many other cool job titles, as you will learn. Bob realized even as a kid that when he grew up he wanted to be part of the entertainment world.
To say Bob worked his way up to the top is an understatement! Beginning with a job as an assistant producer on a set, (which means loading trucks at 5am, working long hours for little pay), he then seized the opportunity to work for research on a movie that Diana Ross was producing. Bob worked his way up there, eventually becoming Diana’s personal assistant and traveling the world with her.
After a short gig as an agent for actors, he returned to work for Diana when he again was presented with a new opportunity—to work as a producer for Good Morning America with ABC. Bob loved the work and advanced quickly in six years. Then it happened. While riding his bike in NYC, Bob was hit head on. He says of that time, “You can do everything right in your life and play by the rules and then get hit by a car tomorrow.” The experience made him really think hard about what he wanted to do in life and realized he wanted to try something new.
Bob left GMA and took a position as Executive Producer with this new start-up called the Food Network. The network had little budget and had been largely focused on “how-to” and learning shows. Under Bob’s management, the network moved toward entertainment and the rest is well known. Bob oversaw shows featuring Guy Fieri, Giada, Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and more.
After 16 years with the Food Network, Bob wanted to try something new again—but he knew he didn't want to work every day. He is now a professor at NYU/Stern and loving it. Some of his best advice to his students (and all of us, really): “Take any door that opens and walk through it. If you work hard, people will help you to succeed.”
Bob's unretirement success plan:
Bob decided not to craft a typical “bucket list". Instead, he created three distinct lists to make this next phase of life successful-- Curiosity, Adventure and Service. Under each category he listed all the things he’d like to accomplish. For example:
"Curiosity" would be all the things you want to learn, like a second language or how to play an instrument.
"Adventure" would include that mountain to climb, exotic place to visit, challenging yourself to do something that scares you.
"Service" is about committing some of your time to making your world better, through community service, volunteering, philanthropy.
Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the “I Used to Be Somebody” weekly blog.