Crown Media Family Networks, the parent company of Hallmark Channel and related programming outlets, said it has appointed Annie Howell as chief communications officer.
Howell, who was executive VP of corporate communications and media relations from 2010 to 2014, reports to Wonya Lucas, the company's president and CEO. Lucas joined in July, after former chief Bill Abbott left the company. Lucas and Howell both worked for Discovery networks earlier in their careers.
“As one of our industry’s most widely recognized and respected communications leaders, Annie embodies a rare combination of creativity, experience, keen insight, warmth, and humor,” Lucas said in a release. “Having previously worked at Crown Media, she also brings to the table an intimate understanding of the Hallmark brand, making her uniquely qualified to lead the corporate communications, program publicity, and social media teams. It is my great pleasure to welcome Annie as a key member of my executive team and I look forward to collaborating with her as we embark on an exciting new chapter in Crown Media’s history.”
Howell earlier was interim head of communications at AMC Networks-owned SundanceTV and founded The Punch Point Group, a communications firm, in which she is a non-operative partner. She spent 11 years at Discovery as a senior VP of communications and public affairs, helping to launch Planet Green and overseeing communications efforts for a wide range of Discovery networks.
Before coming into the entertainment industry, she spent 12 years in public affairs and crisis communications in Washington, D.C., at Powell Tate and Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs.
Howell also serves on the national executive board of the Alliance for Women in Media and, for five years, has co-chaired the organization’s Gracie Awards. She earlier served on the executive committee and board of the Association of Cable Communicators and the NCTA Public Affairs Committee and was on the Washington-Baltimore chapter board of WICT, where she remains active.
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