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Crown Media Earnings Jump in Fourth Quarter

Crown Media, which runs the Hallmark cable networks, reported higher fourth-quarter profits and a big gain in ad revenue.

Net income nearly doubled to $51.6 million or 14 cents a share, from $26.7 million, or 7 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenues rose 13% to $134.2 million. Advertising revenues were up 14% to $111.1 million. The company attributed the gains to price increase and higher ratings on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries network. At most other media companies ad revenues are either flat or down.

Programming costs were down 6%. The company also wrote off $2.5 of programming.

"Crown Media's tremendous achievements in 2014, including Hallmark Channel's second scripted series, When Calls the Heart; the successful return of Cedar Cove; the rebrand of Hallmark Movie Channel to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries; and strong content and ratings during the holiday season, contributed to the continued growth of our business and another year of record financial results," said CEO and president Bill Abbott. "Looking ahead to 2015, we are focused on building on our programming footprint, further positioning us to achieve great success." said Bill Abbott.