Chief Communications Officer Crown Media Family Networks
Annie Howell is Chief Communications Officer of Crown Media Family Networks where she leads the implementation and execution of the full scope of the company’s communications and social media strategies including corporate communications, media relations, publicity, talent management, social media, events and government relations. She provides strategic counsel to Crown executives and is the lead PR liaison with parent company, Hallmark Cards. She serves as the primary spokesperson for the company. From 2010 to 2014, Howell held the position of EVP, corporate communications and media relations at the company.
An executive with over 30 years of experience, she founded The Punch Point Group, a communications, training and coaching company of which she remains an equity partner. Her clients spanned a wide range of organizations from entertainment and media, nonprofits and academics to Fortune 500 corporations including American Express, Discovery Inc, NBC Universal, Showtime, CuriosityStream, MTA of New York, Netflix, TNT, George Washington University, National Wildlife Federation, UN Foundation, Phillipe Cousteau’s EarthEcho International, Disney/ESPN, Penguin Random House and Crown Media Family Networks, among others.
Howell has extensive experience leading teams that excel in strategic communications, entertainment publicity and promotion, crisis communications, public relations, reputation management, brand launches, events and awareness building, talent management, and social media. She is a writer, communication and media trainer and is an ICF certified executive coach.
Prior to launching The Punch Point Group, Howell served as the interim head of communications at AMC Network’s SundanceTV in New York where she played an integral role as a member of the organization’s senior leadership team during a management transition and restructure. While at Sundance, Annie led the brand’s comprehensive PR strategy, talent management and awards campaigns for the 2015 Peabody Awards and Primetime Emmys, which garnered multiple nominations for limited series, The Honorable Woman, and lead actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, among others. She launched the second season of The Red Road starring Jason Momoa and Julianne Nicholson and the third season of critically acclaimed series, Rectify. She was responsible for the PR and event campaign strategies for Deutschland 83’, the first German-language series to air on US television.
Previously, she served as executive vice president of corporate communications & media relations for Crown Media Family Networks, home of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc. At Crown, Howell was responsible for directing the full scope of communications and public relations strategies including corporate communications, media relations, publicity, financial PR, social media, and government relations. She also provided strategic guidance to all Crown executives and served as primary spokesperson for the company and its networks.
Howell’s eleven-year tenure with Discovery Communications included her role as SVP of communications & public affairs at Planet Green and TreeHugger.com, Discovery Communication’s global cross-platform initiative and channel devoted to the environment. Howell oversaw all communications strategies and media outreach for the initiative including the award-winning channel launch.
As SVP of communications in the company’s U.S. networks division, her oversight included all communications and publicity on behalf of the division’s cable networks including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Fit TV, Military Channel, Discovery Home, and Discovery Kids Channel. Howell managed the U.S. division’s global talent management unit and communications for the company’s theatrical film unit (Discovery Films), advertising sales & marketing, distribution and affiliate sales, the Discovery Channel global education partnership, and the Discovery Channel pro cycling team helmed by Lance Armstrong. Howell joined Discovery in 1999 as the director of communications for the Discovery Health Channel and Discoveryhealth.com, where she was a member of the launch team introducing the television industry’s first channel-website endeavor.
Prior to joining Discovery, Howell was a founding member and vice president at the Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm Powell Tate. She also served in account executive positions with Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs.
Howell was honored by CableFax as one of the 2013 and 2012 “Most Powerful Women in Cable”. A 2008 Fellow of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, Howell was named “PR Person of the Year” by CableFax magazine in 2009 and was the recipient of WICT’s 2006 Touchstones of Leadership Communicator Award. She received a PR Week Award for “Consumer Launch of the Year“ (Planet Green) and was on the magazine’s list of “Who to Watch” in 2008. She was twice a participant in WICT’s invite-only Stanford Business School Executive Leadership program.
Howell is a graduate of Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology as well as the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC). She currently serves on the National and Executive Board of Directors for Alliance for Women in Media and for the past five years has served as co-chair of the organization’s esteemed Gracies Awards Gala and Luncheons. She is a current member of the NCTA Public Affairs Committee and for over ten years, she served on the executive committee and board of the Association of Cable Communicators (ACC) as well as the Television Publicity Executive Committee. She served on the Washington-Baltimore chapter board of Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) where she is a member, as well as the PR executive committee of Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS). She currently sits on the communications committee of the National Press Club where she is a member. She is involved with many personal committees and volunteer organizations in metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Kensington, Maryland where she resides with her husband and dog. She has two grown sons.
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