Latman was most recently general manager of Discovery’s Travel Channel and Destination America outlets in addition to serving as executive VP of development and research for Discovery’s ID. She takes the reins from Allison Page, who was tapped earlier this month to head Discovery’s new content venture with HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines.
Latman’s skill at developing programming for ID will serve her well as she transitions to HGTV, said Kathleen Finch, Discovery’s chief lifestyle brands officer.
“It comes down to understanding an audience,” Finch told Variety. “Both HGTV and ID have among the longest length of tune in television. That says the teams behind those channels understand what the audience wants and how to deliver the right amount of premiere content to keep them coming back seven nights a week.”
Latman comes to HGTV as the channel is in the midst of a big original programming push with events such as HGTV’s refurbishment of the famed “Brady Bunch” house, with the help of former stars of the 1970s sitcom, and a number of crossover events with Discovery’s TLC.
“We want to grow and expand and be a little bit louder. Jane is the perfect person to bring that,” Finch said. Another goal is to bring down the average age of HGTV’s largely female audience, Finch said, pointing to the decision to greenlight “Say Yes to the Nest,” a home-centric spinoff of TLC’s wedding-prep franchise “Say Yes to the Dress.”
Latman has been with Discovery since 2003 when she joined what was then the Discovery Times Channel, which was revamped into ID in 2008.
“This is truly a dream job to lead the terrific team at a passion brand like HGTV,” said 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.”