Crown Media Family Networks, parent of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, said Deanne R. Stedem will succeed longtime executive vice president of business affairs and general counsel Charlie Stanford, who is retiring after 17 years at the company, in that role.
Stedem joins from Crown Media's parent company, Hallmark Cards Inc., will report to Crown Media CEO Bill Abbott and is based in Kansas City, Mo.
“Charlie is one of the most well-liked and respected people in entertainment. His integrity, keen insights, and knowledge of the industry have been instrumental in establishing and guiding our business from the very beginning,” Abbott said in a release. “As an integral member of the Crown Media family, he will be deeply missed and we wish him the best of luck as he embarks on this new chapter in his life.”
“Deanne, a former member of Crown Media Family Networks’ Board of Directors, already knows our business inside and out,” Abbott said in the release. “Her extensive legal expertise and strategic mind will be central to the continued growth of our business well into the future and it is with great pleasure that we welcome her to Crown Media.”
In her new role, Stedem will have responsibility for all aspects of the company’s legal and business affairs, as well as distribution, Crown Media said.
The programmer also said Mark J. Kern is back at the company in a newly recreated role of senior vice president, corporate communications & media relations, charged with strategic oversight of all aspects of corporate communications and program publicity. In addition to serving previously at Crown Media he had held senior executive positions at Discovery Communications’ joint venture, Hub TV Network, and at Fox Broadcasting Co. He will be based in Studio City, Calif., and report jointly to Susanne McAvoy, EVP, marketing, creative & communications and Michelle Vicary, EVP, programming & network publicity.
“While both our networks continue to grow, increasing the visibility of our company among consumers and within the industry is crucial to the continued success of our ratings and bottom line,” Abbott said in the release. “Mark’s creativity, understanding of the business, and strong leadership will play an important role in further raising awareness of Crown Media during this exciting and pivotal time in our history.”
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