Nearly a year ago, Solomon McCown President and crisis communication expert Ashley McCown reviewed the Top 10 Public Relations Crises of the first half of 2013. Paula Deen, the Food Network’s butter queen, took the top spot for badly bungling the fallout from the news that she’d used a racial epithet. In the video, McCown said “Paula Deen will be back. It’s just a matter of time.”

Deen hasn’t been silent for the past year; she’s hosted cruises and continued selling out speaking engagements. But now she’s announced that she’s returning to media, launching her own network as a paid online subscription-based offering. Not only that, but the Paula Deen Live! show even has a sponsor, according to Deen’s website. She’s clearly not the toxic persona she was a year ago.

Deen chose an interesting way to return to food media. Instead of pitching herself to existing networks, Deen has struck out on her own. Perhaps her stint on the public speaking circuit showed her there’s enough hunger for her Southern style that she can make a living that way? Or is she hoping viewership and sponsorship will be strong enough on her online network that she can convince a cable network to pick up her shows?

What do you think Deen’s cooking up with her new sponsorship? Let us know in the comments.