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Chip & Joanna Gaines’ Joint Venture with Discovery Sets Leadership


The first round of senior strategists tapped to lead programming, research, strategy and publicity for Chip and Joanna Gaines’ joint media venture with Discovery have been unveiled.

Industry veteran Donna MacLetchie has been named general manager of programming, a role which will see her lead the network’s programming and production efforts, managing teams in Knoxville, New York and Texas. She brings with her nearly two decades of experience in creating and producing lifestyle and competition formats, including Food Network Star, Queer Eye, Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off and Buddy vs. Duff. She comes to Discovery from Jane Street Entertainment, a full-service production company she co-founded in 2011.

Additionally, Julie Morris has been named senior VP of brand strategy and operations. Morris will lead brand research and strategy for the network, managing cross-functional teams in Knoxville and New York. She has been with the company since 2003, most recently serving as VP for brand research and strategy for HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel. Morris brings with her a proven track record for designing, launching and directing large-scale market research studies, leveraging key market insights and trends to help teams innovate at the intersection of research, product development and marketing.

John Marsicano is set to lead publicity and communications strategy. As head of PR for the new network, he will manage teams in New York and Texas. Marsicano joins Discovery from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ team at Magnolia, where he led publicity efforts for the couple and their home and lifestyle brand. In his new role, he will continue to represent the Gaines directly.

The multiplatform media company, to be named soon, will comprise a linear-TV network and TV Everywhere app to be unveiled in late 2020. Additional appointees, programming details and the official network name will be announced in the coming months.

“I am thrilled to officially welcome three key members of our senior team,” said Allison Page, president of the new joint venture. “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.”

About Alison Skilton

Alison Skilton is an associate editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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