WILLIAM (BILL) J. ABBOTT
President and Chief Executive Officer
William J. Abbott is president and chief executive officer of Crown Media Family Networks, home of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, which is owned and operated by Hallmark Cards, Inc. He oversees a team of seasoned executives who manage the day-to-day operations of all facets of both channels, including programming, marketing, ad sales, communications and media relations, digital initiatives, distribution, finance, and legal. Abbott is an industry veteran with more than 2 decades of leadership experience in family television including 15 years at Crown Media Family Networks.
Under Abbott’s stewardship, Hallmark Channel has solidified its position as the leading destination for quality family-friendly entertainment on cable. In addition to the network’s signature original movies, Abbott has spearheaded the significant diversification and expansion of the network’s slate of original content to include primetime scripted series, daytime Emmy® nominated lifestyle program, Home & Family, and such annual specials as Kitten Bowl, Hero Dog Awards, and Paw Star Game. Abbott also piloted the development of Hallmark Channel’s signature holiday programming initiative, Countdown to Christmas, which brings the network record ratings year after year. Over the course of Abbott’s tenure, Hallmark Channel has also become home to some of television’s most beloved classic series, including Frasier, Happy Days, I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch, and Golden Girls.
In addition to his oversight of Hallmark Channel, Abbott launched sibling network Hallmark Movie Channel, which underwent a brand transition to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in late 2014. As its line-up of original programming continues to expand, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is seeing extraordinary growth in ratings and distribution and has become one of the fastest growing networks in cable.
Prior to being named president and CEO, Abbott was the company’s executive vice president of advertising sales. In that capacity, he oversaw offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta, and was responsible for all of the national advertising sales operations for the networks, internet services and digital network development. During his time at the helm of ad sales, Hallmark Channel’s annual advertising revenues grew from $10.2 million to $223 million, setting the network apart as an industry leader.
Abbott joined Crown Media Family Networks in 2000 after serving as senior vice president of advertising sales for Fox Family Worldwide where he was responsible for advertising sales activity for Fox Family Channel and Fox Kids Network. He worked in a variety of advertising sales and research positions within Fox Family Worldwide (and under its previous operation as The Family Channel), beginning in 1988. His experience includes both cable and broadcast television advertising sales, having represented Fox Family Channel, Fox Kids Network and The Family Channel. Abbott’s additional experience includes positions with CBS Radio Networks, Seltel, Inc. and Nadler & Larimer Advertising.
Abbot lives in New York with his family but travels often to the company’s Los Angeles offices, as well as to the Kansas City corporate headquarters of Crown Media parent company, Hallmark Cards. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.
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