Crown turns Odyssey into Hallmark

To no one's surprise, Crown Media confirmed that it will change the name of the long-slumbering Odyssey Channel to the Hallmark Channel.

Crown, which is controlled by Hallmark Cards, already operates the Hallmark Channel in Euopean and Asian markets. The move had been expected for months given that Odyssey has virtually no recognition among consumers. Hallmark is obviously well known for its greeting cards and, to a lesser degree , its long-running Hallmark Hall of Fame made-for-TV movies that have for years run on CBS.

Hallmark Cards Chairman Irv Hockaday said he believes that the new name will give viewers the warm-and-fuzzies that the card division tries to convey. "To consumers our brand stands for more than greeting cards," Hockaday said. The switch will occur Aug. 6, accompanied by an advertising push. - John Higgins