Discovery will take a bold step in 2021 within the traditional linear cable universe with the launch of a channel that will feature two of the most popular stars in the home renovation genre.
Page is up for the challenge with Magnolia Network, a joint venture between Discovery and Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines. The veteran Scripps Networks executive will look to establish the new network’s footprint in a crowded linear cable marketplace.
“Magnolia Network is a network that people very much want, need and look forward to because it represents positivity, family and comfort,” Page said.
Previously, Page was president of HGTV and Food Network. Prior to Discovery’s acquisition of Scripps Network in 2018, Page was general manager of U.S. Programming and Development for the company’s HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country brands.
It was at HGTV where Page displayed her programming acumen, launching such network franchise shows as “Flip or Flop,” “Brother vs. Brother” and “Fixer Upper,” which will be part of the new Magnolia lineup. Page’s influence on the network continues to fuel its success today: HGTV is one of the highest-rated cable networks in a year dominated by shifting programming lineups due to production schedules disrupted by to COVID-19.
“[HGTV] is real comfort food for viewers,” Page said. “I think brands with a clear, consistent, compelling brand promise provide a lot of comfort for viewers because you know what you’re coming for and your expectations are met.”
While the network has yet to set a firm launch date, Magnolia Network has already generated awareness through content previews on sister networks Food Network and DIY.
Magnolia Network programming will be prominently featured in the Discovery Plus direct-to-consumer service launching in January. Discovery Plus will offer episodes from several Magnolia Network series and specials, including “Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines” and “The Courage to Run with Chip Gaines and Gabe Grunewald.”
“Our role in it will be something that will be a great offering to people who want that Discovery larger product, but also serves as a great marketing tool for us,” Page said of the streaming product. “Hopefully it serves two great purposes of giving people a real sense of what we’re going to be, as well as showing some highly anticipated content.”
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.
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