Press release from HGTV, April 24, 2019:
Veteran Discovery and TV industry executive Jane Latman has been named President of HGTV, effective immediately, announced Kathleen Finch, Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer at Discovery.
“Jane is a terrific creative executive with a proven ability to build strong formats, long-running hit series and superfan brands that nourish passionate audiences,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery. “With Jane’s promotion, we are pairing a talented leader with one of our top lifestyle brands and I look forward to seeing where she, Kathleen and team take HGTV next.”
In her new role, Latman will oversee all programming, development, and overall strategy and operations for HGTV, the #1 network for upscale women for 12 consecutive years.
“Jane understands how to grab and hold viewers’ attention, as evidenced by her tremendous track record of success with Investigation Discovery and, most recently as General Manager of Travel Channel,” said Finch, to whom Latman will report. “I am thrilled to have Jane and her expertise at the helm of HGTV, one of the most iconic, successful and well-loved brands in all of media.”
During Latman’s term as general manager of Travel Channel, the network has seen a rapid transformation, posting its best year ever in 2018 among A25-54, W25-54, P2+ and Households in Primetime, with ratings up 15% among the A25-54 and W25-54 demos. The network also had its best year ever in 2018 in Total Day among A25-54, W25-54 and P2+, and moved up seven spots in Prime among A25-54 to break into the Top 25 cable channels.
As a critical member of Group President Henry Schleiff’s leadership team, Latman has served in tandem roles as GM of Travel Channel, and executive vice president of development and research for Investigation Discovery and American Heroes Channel, and as GM of Destination America. She played a pivotal role in driving ID’s meteoric rise from the #50 network a decade ago to the #1 network for W25-54 in total day and #1 in cable in length of tune for seven years running.
“This is truly a dream job to lead the terrific team at a passion brand like HGTV,” added Latman. “I am delighted at the opportunity to work with some of the most creative and focused storytellers in the business and take HGTV to even greater heights.”
Latman will relocate from Silver Spring, Maryland to New York later this year. She will replace Allison Page, previous President of HGTV, and who was recently named President of Discovery’s joint venture with Chip and Joanna Gaines.
About Jane Latman
Jane Latman has worked in nonfiction television for more than 20 years and has been with Discovery since 2003, when she joined the programming department for what was then the Discovery Times Channel. After a stint in development for the Military Channel, Latman was tapped to help transition Discovery Times to Investigation Discovery, giving her the challenging privilege of designing content for the network that would ultimately drive its astounding growth. Many of her series have become the network’s top hits, including Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, On the Case with Paula Zahn, A Crime to Remember, the American Murder Mystery franchise, Killer Instinct with Chris Hansen, Vanity Fair Confidential, Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall, Disappeared and In Pursuit with John Walsh. Latman also developed the critically acclaimed documentary film Into the Abyss and subsequent television series On Death Row with legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog.
Also during her Discovery tenure, Latman oversaw the development, production, scheduling, research, marketing, communications, and digital efforts for Destination America, and the launch of such programming hits as Paranormal Lockdown, Ghost Brothers, and Ghosts of Shepherdstown.
Previously, Latman was general manager of Discovery Life Channel where she championed the network’s transition from Discovery Fit & Health and oversaw a diverse slate of lifestyle and medical programming, including the groundbreaking series New Girls on the Block, the first television series to embed with a group of friends within the transgender community.
Prior to joining Discovery, Latman was a freelance producer, director, and writer for projects that included the award-winning series Nurses for Discovery Health Channel and Understanding Obesity for The Learning Channel’s acclaimed Understanding… series. She also did development work for a variety of ventures including PBS’s miniseries Stealing Time: The Science of Aging.