Studio City, Calif. - Hallmark Channel chief Margaret Loesch will be
exiting her post next month when her contract expires, officials said Tuesday.
Loesch, founding president and CEO of Crown Media U.S. LLC, which operates
Hallmark Channel, will be replaced by Lana Corbi, who is currently chief
operating officer of Crown Media Holdings and is a veteran of Fox Broadcasting
Loesch, former president of Fox Kids Networks, has shepherded the evolution
of what was once called the Odyssey Channel, a faith-and-values programming
service, into a family-oriented entertainment service that was rebranded,
effective Aug. 5., as Hallmark Channel.
'I'm very proud of the many accomplishments made by the team I've helped
build,' Loesch said in a prepared statement. 'But, while the experience has been
exciting, it has also be all-consuming personally and professionally. As I near
the end of my contract, it seems like an ideal time to take a much-needed break
and put some focus on my family, and then to pursue my other career goals.'
Loesch was president of Jim Henson Television when Jim Henson Co. and
Hallmark Entertainment partnered to acquire a stake in the National Interfaith
Cable Coalition's religious-oriented Odyssey Channel.
During Loesch's three-year tenure, Hallmark Channel has increased its
distribution, to 33.7 million subscribers, closing carriage deals with DirecTV
Inc., Time Warner Cable, AT&T Broadband, Adelphia Communications and Charter
While the network's ratings are up, Hallmark Channel has
had a more difficult time crafting a distinct identity, offering a slate of
programming that at times seemed disparate.
For example, Hallmark Channel's lineup includes fare ranging
from miniseries based on literary classics such as Lord Jim and Mark
Twain's Roughing It to acquired shows like Northern Exposure and
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