Hallmark Channel CEO Bill Abbott Resigns After Same-Sex Ad Backlash

Bill Abbott joined Crown Media Family Networks in 2000 starting in the ad sales division and leading the company for the past 11

He also announced Abbott's departure in a press release on the company's website.

Back in December, in response to pressure from the anti-LGBTQ group One Million Moms, the Hallmark Channel pulled ads from Zola.com (below) featuring a lesbian wedding.

The longtime CEO of Crown Media, the parent company of Hallmark Channel, is on the outs after 11 years in his position - and the timing is raising some eyebrows.

A new boss has yet to be named, but it's understood Perry will personally lead the search for a replacement.

Abbott's departure comes as a surprise, because Hallmark Channel has had steady viewership. Mike Perry, the president and CEO of Hallmark Cards, Inc., issued a statement confirming the news and alluding to a need for "relevant" change.

Crown Family Networks is controlled by Hallmark Cards and operates three entertainment brands: Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama, in addition to a video-on-demand service and e-book publishing division. The Associated Press had reported at the time that the network had made a decision to pull the ads because conservative group One Million Moms had complained that the spots promoted "the LGBT agenda". In December, the network pulled a Zola ad that featured two women kissing at the altar.

Response was swift from the LGBTQ community and its advocates.

During the recent 2019 holiday season, The Hallmark Channel reigned over cable television boosted by its holiday movie marathons.

"The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision, as we've seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused. Advertisers on The Hallmark Channel should see this news and question whether they want to be associated with a network that chooses to bow to fringe anti-LGBTQ activist groups, which exclusively exist to harm LGBTQ families".



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