The Untold Truth Of Chip And Joanna Gaines' New TV Network

Many fans were left heartbroken when, in September 2017, house flipping gurus Chip and Joanna Gaines announced the end of their popular HGTV series, Fixer Upper. "This is just us recognizing that we need to catch our breath for a moment," the couple said in a joint statement shared to their website

Although Chip and Joanna seemingly implied that they were shifting gears for some much needed R&R, they completely flipped the script when, in November 2018, they revealed their plans to launch their own television channel with the help of media company, Discovery, Inc. "You are going to get to see the kids grow up, you are going to see us, well maybe a six-month delay like the rest of the world, but we are excited to be back," Chip told late-night host Jimmy Fallon at the time. Um, what happened to taking it easy?  

Additional details about Chip and Joanna's exciting business venture were revealed in April 2019, with multiple sources reporting that the entrepreneurial duo will rebrand Discovery's DIY Network as the The Magnolia Network — an homage to their mega-popular home decor brand of the same name. The new network will launch in Summer 2020, Discovery confirmed.

Of course, it's fair some fans have questions about this new channel. What will happen to the stars of DIY, for example? And what's the deal with the couple's new business partner? Grab your hard hat and let's uncover the untold truth of Chip and Joanna Gaines' new TV network.

Chip and Joanna's business partner is LOADED

Some fans might have noticed that Chip and Joanna Gaines mentioned the name "David Zaslav" in their announcement about the new channel. Zaslav, in case you aren't already familiar, is the president and CEO of Discovery, Inc. And if his paycheck is any indication, he's pretty great at his job. Zaslav is loaded, and just know that we don't use that term lightly — in 2018, the businessman received a $129.44 million compensation package, according to Variety. "Zaslav received $102 million in Discovery stock options in connection with the new contract and another $14.8 million in stock awards," the outlet reported. "He received a $9 million bonus and $3 million in regular salary." Dang, maybe we're in the wrong business...

Given Zaslav's weight in the entertainment industry (he was one of the highest paid CEOs in 2018), it's pretty smart that Chip and Joanna hitched their apple cart to his wagon. The CEO has an impressive track record of successes, after all.

It also doesn't hurt that Chip can't get enough of Zaslav. "We've got this bromance going on, David and I," he joked during a speech at Discovery's upfront in April 2019, according to Deadline

They're taking a piece of HGTV with them

Just because Chip and Joanna Gaines are done with HGTV as a network, it doesn't mean they don't appreciate the company's talent. Want some proof? Look no further than the couple's hiring of former HGTV president and CEO, Allison Page, who will be "responsible for operations for the venture, managing teams based in Waco, Texas and Knoxville, Tennessee," according to Deadline.

Chip and Joanna gave major props to Page in their April 2019 announcement, stating, "We know Allison Page is the right person to lead this charge. We're ready to get started and are expectant for all that's ahead." Wow, it sounds like the couple really appreciate Page's work.

Of course, Page's involvement could be another effect of David Zaslav's influence, as she will be leaving her leadership roles HGTV and Food Network to run The Magnolia Network. All three networks fall under the Discovery umbrella. And while the Gaineses are clearly on board with Page, Zaslav has also sung her praises, like in April 2018 when he described her to The Wrap as an "amazing creative manager," who displays "expert leadership" in creating "compelling content for our loyal fans who are passionate about home and food."

Chip reassured DIY's concerned fans

The DIY network has produced some popular shows throughout the years, including Rehab Addict, Yard Crashers, and Desperate Landscapes, to name a few. Unfortunately for diehard DIY viewers, the fate of these shows and others remain uncertain in light of Chip and Joanna Gaines' partnership with Discovery, Inc. A few fans touched on this issue after the business deal was confirmed in April 2019, with one fan tweeting at Chip: "But you are killing DIY??? Not against @magnolia, but DIY at least has some variety on it." The dad-of-five seemingly denied the death of DIY, writing back: "No Way.. You're gunna [sic] love it!"

Chip also stressed to one commenter that DIY is simply getting a makeover, saying: "We are rebranding diy into a @magnolia inspired network. I hope you love it!" In another back and forth, the real estate genius seemingly implied that he's a fan of DIY's shows. 

It has been confirmed, however, that Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict is done with DIY and headed over to the Gaines' old network, HGTV. "We left before that decision was made (by choice) to take a much needed break," she told People, in reference to the couple's new deal. "I wish [Chip and Joanna] the best of luck."

We guess we'll have to wait and see how this one pans out.

What will happen to their carpenter?

Some fans might remember Chip and Joanna Gaines' go-to carpenter on Fixer Upper, Clint Harp. The accomplished woodworker went on to land his own show, Wood Work, on the DIY Network. The series, which first aired in 2017, "follows [Harp] and his team as they create new furniture out of reclaimed wood and build beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces to incorporate into family homes," according to DIY's website.

So, what will happen to Chip and Joanna's friend in light of their DIY takeover? Harp touched on this subject in an interview with People, stating: "I'm just hearing this news along with the rest of America. [My wife] Kelly and I truly loved working with HGTV and DIY, and like many people, were surprised to hear of the upcoming changes within the Discovery networks. As for me, I'll now be diving back into conversations with producers and networks about some great possible projects."

Harp, who posts about the Gaineses on social media from time to time, added: "Obviously working with Chip and Jo is always on the table for me, as I think we have done pretty well together! Whomever I work with, whatever the project, my hope is always the same: to be able to produce good work that inspires people to go out and do something they love."

We have a feeling everything will work out for Harp — it's no secret the guy is incredibly talented.

Did they hold out for a better deal?

When Chip and Joanna Gaines left Fixer Upper in September 2017, rumors ran rampant about their reasons for leaving. Some people didn't buy their excuse about wanting to "catch [their] breath," for instance, especially since there was speculation that the couple left the series to pursue better business opportunities outside of their contract with Scripps, HGTV's parent company.

"Scripps talent contracts are very restrictive. The talent can't do anything without their approval — any appearance, any publicity, any endorsement, any product — you have to ask them for permission," a source explained to Page Six in October 2017, which was before Discovery bought Scripps. "It is awful. And on top of that, Scripps takes a big percentage of everything you make — books, appearances, endorsements, products. If you make money, they take most of the money." The outlet also speculated, "[The Gaineses] are rolling the dice thinking the new owners will come running after them and give them the deal they really want."

The rumor mill ultimately became so intense that Brock Murphy, the director of public relations for their retail outlet, Magnolia Market, felt compelled to set the record straight, telling Vanity Fair"It is not based on anything related to Discovery-Scripps, or anything else that has been falsely reported."

Murphy's statement certainly seems a tad dubious, given the announcement of Chip and Joanna's partnership with Discovery, but maybe the two didn't enter talks until after his statement? You never know.

It's all about the brand, people

A big detail about Chip and Joanna Gaines' new channel is its emphasis on their popular brand, Magnolia. "We're excited to share we are in the early stages of talking with Discovery about a lifestyle focused media network for Magnolia," Magnolia spokesman John Marsicano said in a statement (via Variety). "The details surrounding this opportunity remain a work in progress but together our hope is to build a different kind of platform for unique inspiring and family-friendly content."

Of course, it's not really surprising that Chip and Joanna want their business front and center. But this piece of info is juicy if you believe that the couple really left Fixer Upper because they weren't allowed to showcase Magnolia's products on the show. HGTV's parent company, Scripps, supposedly wanted a piece of the pie in exchange for the free promotion. 

"They kept insisting on showing things with the Magnolia label, even though Scripps does not have a partnership with them on that stuff," a source claimed to Vanity Fair at the time. "This isn't how business is done with Scripps. You have to come to some arrangement if you want to show your products on your HGTV show." Granted, Scripps is now owned by Discovery, so how much distance did the Gaineses actually put between themselves and their former employer? Still, the mysterious deal is trés interesting.

The timing isn't a coincidence

On the surface, Chip and Joanna Gaines seem like the definition of the folksy, relatable everyman. But underneath that demeanor is a pair of shrewd business people. Dig a little deeper into logistics of their new channel, and you'll find evidence of exactly what we're talking about. Case in point: Chip and Joanna's rebrand of DIY in Summer 2020 will take place at "the same time as the couple's TV Everywhere app becomes available," according to The Wrap. Perfect timing, right? 

To break down the whole TV Everywhere app thing, it gives viewers "the ability to watch television programming on multiple platforms in multiple places," according to Mediacom. Translation: Fans will have no problem tuning into all things Chip and Joanna.

For those who might have concerns about whether the couple will be able to generate enough content for a channel subscribers can access virtually anywhere, know that Discovery CEO David Zaslav isn't worried. "We think that is a very unique opportunity to enhance a channel and grow a channel," Zaslav he shared in April 2019, according to The Wrap. "We now have an opportunity with Chip and Jo to take a network that is doing OK and take it to the next level."

We wish Chip and Joanna the best of luck with their new venture — not that they'll need it.