Bill Abbott’s GAC Media Hires Former Crown Media Execs

Mary Dzabic Sara Murphy GAC Media
Mary Dzabic and Sara Murphy (Image credit: GAC Media)

Former Hallmark Channel head Bill Abbott’s new company GAC Media has hired two executives who had previously been with Hallmark Channel parent company Crown Media Family Networks.

Mary Dzabic was named chief financial officer of GAC Media and Sarah Murphy joined the company as VP of advertising sales and marketing partnerships.

Since acquiring the Great American Country and Ride TV cable channels, Abbott has been following the Hallmark Channel playbook, turning the networks into family friendly GAC Family and GAC Living.

GAC Family this week announced that it would be airing a dozen original holiday movies under the Great American Christmas banner. Holiday programming is another Hallmark staple.

GAC is also poaching Hallmark talent including Cameron Mathison and Debbie Matenopoulos, who hosted a special on GAC Family and Lori Laughlin, who will appear in season two of When Hope Calls, which is moving to GAC from Hallmark.

Dzabic previously spent 20 years at Crown Media, most recently as senior VP of finance. In her new roles at GAC, she will report to Abbott and oversee financial planning, investment strategies and capital structure. 

Murphy had been director of advertising sales at Crown Media Family Networks. She began her sales career there as a sales assistant in 2010.

“Mary and Sarah are accomplished executives whose sharp analytical insights and wealth of experience make them valuable additions to the team,” said Abbott. “Having worked closely with each of them for over a decade, I have seen the results of their strong leadership first-hand, and I look forward to their immediate contributions as they deliver strategic solutions and new opportunities to grow our business.”  

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.