Henry Schleiff Stepping Down at Crown Media

Henry Schleiff, the president and CEO of Crown Media Holdings, which owns Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, is stepping down as of May 31.

Bill Abbott, currently executive VP of advertising sales, will replace Schleiff as president and CEO.

Schleiff assumed his current role in 2006. A company release says he is leaving to “return to his passion of helping smaller cable networks achieve their potential.”

“Under his leadership, Hallmark Channel has enjoyed significant growth and success across the board in ratings, revenues and distribution,” said Donald J. Hall, Jr., co-chairman of Crown Media Holdings, Inc., in a statement. “I believe Henry and his management team have created a balance of original programming, feature films and classic TV series that makes Hallmark Channel unique. We have been fortunate to have had someone with his talent and commitment on our team and we wish him success in his future endeavors.”

“It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to work with an organization that has one of the world’s great brands and with a group of people who are dedicated to protecting and expanding it,” said Schleiff in a statement. “Indeed, I will always consider my collaboration with the extraordinarily talented team at Hallmark Channel in bringing the network to its current record profits and successful position as among the most rewarding experiences of my career. Along with great colleagues, I have been fortunate to play a role in the growth of two very different cable networks in recent years and, accordingly, I anticipate exploring new industry challenges with similar success.”

Both the company and Schleiff say the decision was an amicable one.