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Discovery’s cable powerhouses Food Network and HGTV are undergoing a management shuffle as the company prepares to merge with WarnerMedia in a deal that is expected to close in April.
HGTV veteran Jane Latman is taking over management of Food Network in addition to the home-focused lifestyle cabler. Courtney White is exiting her post as president of Food Network to launch a new content banner, Butternut Films.
“Jane has more than proven her leadership skills at HGTV where, so far this year, she leads the industry in launching six of the top 20 freshman hits among ages 25-54 — more than any other cable network,” Kathleen Finch, chief lifestyle brands officer of Discovery, said in a statement. “She is the perfect choice to lead our important food and home content businesses and I’m confident she will bring the same creative magic to Food Network that she has to HGTV.”
Latman has been with Discovery for nearly 20 years and has been instrumental in HGTV’s rise as a cultural force. White joined Discovery and its predecessor, Scripps Networks, in 2005.
White has been at the helm of Food Network for the past four years. During her tenure, the channel launched such series as “Buddy vs. Duff,” “Tournament of Champions” and “Girl Meets Farm.” White also led the push to take Food Network into new territory with its first scripted feature, last year’s “Candy Coated Christmas” starring Food Network personality Ree Drummond.
White’s decision to depart Food Network no doubt reflects the potential she sees in the booming market for lifestyle content. White has broad experience having worked in programming for HGTV and Travel Channel before Food Network.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Courtney for more than 12 years while she led programming across the Discovery lifestyle portfolio – for HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network,” said Finch. “She’s an extremely talented executive, content creator and successful hitmaker and we look forward to continuing to partner with her as she launches her own company.”