7:57am PT by Rick Porter
Chip and Joanna Gaines Network Makes Key Executive Hires
Chip and Joanna Gaines' forthcoming cable network has started to fill in its executive ranks, with three industry veterans set to take key posts.
The as yet unnamed network, a joint venture between the Fixer Upper stars and Discovery Inc. that's set to launch in 2020, has named Donna MacLetchie, Julie Morris and John Marsicano to lead, respectively, the programming, research and strategy and publicity teams.
"I am thrilled to officially welcome three key members of our senior team," said Allison Page, president of the joint venture and former head of the Gaineses' previous TV home, HGTV. "Having worked with Donna for over a decade, she's proven to have a keen eye for identifying talent and developing formats, and her passion and energy knows no bounds. Julie is a gifted manager and brings a deep understanding of the audience — she knows how to draw in viewers. And John's insight into the Magnolia brand and the wider entertainment landscape is simply remarkable, and we are so excited to have him joining the network team. I'm very much looking forward to all that's ahead for this team."
MacLetchie will be general manager, programming, for the network, overseeing production and programming and managing teams in Knoxville (HGTV's base), New York and Texas, where the Gaines family runs its Magnolia home-design empire. She's the co-founder of Jane Street Productions (Rachael Ray's Kids Cook-Off, Sweet Genius) and has executive produced Food Network Star and Worst Cooks in America, among other series.
Morris will be senior vp brand strategy and operations, managing cross-functional teams in New York and Knoxville. She joined HGTV parent Scripps Networks Interactive (which Discovery bought in 2018) in 2003 and most recently was vp brand research and strategy for HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel. Her teams will work on research, product development and marketing.
Marsicano will be head of PR for the new network, having previously led publicity efforts for the Gaineses and their home and lifestyle brand, Magnolia. He will also continue as the couple's personal rep.
The new network is slated to launch next year on what is currently the DIY Network. It will feature "unique, inspiring and family-friendly" programming centered on community, home, wellness, design, food and entrepreneurialism.