A ages afterwards Hallmark Channel sparked abuse for briefly affairs several ads from bells planning cast Zola that featured a same-sex brace kissing at their wedding, the network’s arch is departure the company.
Bill Abbott, who has been Crown Media Family Networks admiral and CEO for the accomplished 11 years, is abrogation the company. The advertisement was fabricated today by Mike Perry, admiral and CEO of Hallmark Cards Inc.
No almsman has been named. “I accept amazing aplomb in the Crown Media administration aggregation and, with this aggregation in place, I will activate a chase for Bill’s replacement,” Perry said.
Abbott’s avenue comes on the heels of Hallmark Channel’s accommodation to cull several ads by bells planning cast Zola featuring a same-sex brace kissing in acknowledgment to burden from bourgeois accumulation One Million Moms.
Zola responded by adage it would no best acquaint on the arrangement for the accountable future. The hashtag #BoycottHallmark trended on Twitter, and GLAAD alleged the network’s activity “discriminatory,” advancement added advertisers to amend their own captivation with the company.
One day later, Perry apologized for what he alleged the “wrong decision.” He vowed to “be added across-the-board and bless our differences,” and the aggregation said it will “be all-encompassing out to Zola to reestablish our affiliation and reinstate the commercials.”
Hallmark said in a columnist absolution at the time that the aggregation “is, and consistently has been, committed to assortment and inclusion. … It is never Hallmark’s ambition to be alienated or accomplish controversy. We are an across-the-board aggregation and accept a clue almanac to prove it.”
Hallmark had hoped its changeabout would annihilate the altercation that threatened to adumbrate Hallmark Channel’s best advantageous time of the year: its Countdown to Christmas marathon. But the aggregation was acutely still activity the heat: Earlier this month, it had canceled its acceptable accident at the Television Critics Association’s winter columnist bout so as to abstain accepting to acknowledgment questions about the Zola controversy.
Countdown to Christmas, which acclaimed its 10th ceremony in 2019, has angry into an announcement and ratings bonanza for the network. The event’s ratings accept added than angled over the decade, affective Hallmark to No. 1 amid all cable networks in the fourth analysis amid women 25-54 back 2016. And ad acquirement for the authorization has tripled over that aforementioned period.
The Zola altercation had been a atramentous eye to a aggregation that prides itself on alienated altercation with its family-friendly, brand-safe programming.
Last March, the company cut ties with extra Lori Loughlin—who starred in the Hallmark Channel alternation When Calls the Heart, the Garage Sale Mysteries movies on sister arrangement Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and several Hallmark Christmas movies—one day afterwards she was arrested and answerable in affiliation with an all-encompassing civic academy admissions cheating scandal.
Abbott’s avenue is the latest aftereffect of Hallmark’s efforts to bound about-face the page. He had abutting Crown Media Family Networks in 2000, starting in the ad sales analysis and arch the aggregation for the accomplished 11 years. Under his watch, he grew Hallmark Channel into a cable powerhouse, acknowledgment in ample allotment to Countdown to Christmas.
A decade ago, as cipher Hallmark Channel struggled to accomplish a name for itself in a chaotic cable landscape, Abbott had absitively on a adventurous move: axis its apprentice aboriginal Christmas cine achievement (the aboriginal of which aired in 2002, one year afterwards the arrangement launched) into a anniversary accident called Countdown to Christmas. Getting audiences to apprehend holiday-themed agreeable whenever they angry on the arrangement would accord it “a aggressive advantage,” Abbott told Adweek aftermost month—but success was far from guaranteed.
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