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Chip and Joanna Gaines, Discovery Set Initial Leadership Team for Joint Venture

Newly-appointed senior strategists include Donna MacLetchie, Julie Morris and John Marsicano

Chip and Joanna Gaines and Discovery have set the initial leadership team for their up coming joint venture’s programming, research and strategy, and publicity teams, which includes Donna MacLetchie, Julie Morris and John Marsicano.

MacLetchie has been named general manager, Programming, where she’ll 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 a successful lifestyle and competition formats including ‘Food Network Star,’ ‘Queer Eye,’ ‘Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off’ and ‘Buddy vs. Duff,’ to name a few,” according to statement issued by Discovery on Thursday. “She comes to Discovery from Jane Street Entertainment, a full-service production company she co-founded in 2011.”

Morris has been named senior vice President, 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 vice president for brand research and strategy for HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel,” Discovery says. “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.”

Marsicano has been set as the head of PR for the new network and will lead publicity and communications teams in New York and Texas.

“Marsicano joins Discovery from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ team at Magnolia, where he led publicity efforts for couple and their home and lifestyle brand,” per Discovery. “In his new role, he will continue to represent the Gaineses directly.”

“I am thrilled to officially welcome three key members of our senior team,” Allison Page, president of Discovery’s joint venture with the Gaineses, said in a statement Thursday. “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.”

Earlier this year, Discovery, Inc. and the Gaineses’ home and lifestyle brand, Magnolia, revealed they would be partnering to launch a joint media venture. The forthcoming multiplatform media company — which does not yet have a name — “will comprise a linear television network and TV Everywhere app to be unveiled in late 2020,” according to Discovery.

The company also says that “additional appointees, programming details and official network name will be announced in the coming months.”