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Discovery, Gaines JV staffs up

Donna MacLetchie

The joint venture between US factual giant Discovery and Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines has appointed a trio of execs ahead of the launch of its linear network and OTT service.

The JV between Discovery and the Gaines’ Magnolia shingle was first mooted last year, with a linear network due to launch in spring 2020 confirmed in January.

The venture and network is yet to be named but will replace DIY Network in the US and is being led by former HGTV chief Allison Page as president.

Julie Morris

Page today announced Donna MacLetchie has been named general manager of programming, leading the network’s programming and production and managing teams in Knoxville, New York and Texas.

Her credits include Food Network Star, Queer Eye, Rachael vs Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off and Buddy vs Duff, among others. She comes to Discovery from Jane Street Entertainment, a full-service prodco she co-founded in 2011.

Two other appointments on the non-programming side were also announced today. Thirteen-year Discovery veteran Julie Morris is moving to be senior VP of brand strategy and operations, having most recently been VP for brand research and strategy for HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel.

John Marsicano

John Marsicano will lead publicity and communications strategy, moving across from the Gaines’ team at Magnolia.

The network will be home to the complete library of Fixer Upper, which premiered on HGTV in 2013 and was one of the highest-rated series on the network during its four-year run.





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