Studio City, CA – Annie Howell has been named Chief Communications Officer for Crown Media Family Networks, after a five-year hiatus from inhouse communications.  The announcement was made today by Wonya Lucas, President and Chief Executive Officer, to whom Howell will report. Howell is responsible for the implementation and execution of the full scope of Crown Media’s communications and social media strategies including corporate communications, media relations, publicity, talent management, social media, events and government relations.  In addition, she provides strategic counsel to Crown executives and acts as the PR liaison with parent company, Hallmark Cards. She will also serve 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.

“As a well-established and respected communications executive, Annie embodies the combination of creativity, keen insight, and humor,” said Wonya Lucas, President & CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. “Having previously worked at Crown Media, she also brings to the table an intimate understanding of the Hallmark brand, making her uniquely qualified to lead the corporate communications, program publicity, and social media teams. It is my great pleasure to welcome Annie as a key member of my executive team and I look forward to collaborating with her as we embark on an exciting new chapter in Crown Media’s history.”

Prior to joining Crown Media, Howell founded The Punch Point Group, LLC, a communications and training company specializing in the written and verbal word as well as strategic communications, for a broad range of corporations, media companies, non-profits, universities and individual clients. She is a non-operative partner of the business.

Before she launched Punch Point, Annie was the interim head of communications at AMC Networks’ SundanceTV where, as part of the executive leadership team, she led the communications and publicity team during a management transition and restructure.

Howell spent over 11 years at Discovery, Inc. where she served as SVP, Communications & Public Affairs. She was on the launch team of Planet Green and, Discovery’s global cross-platform, network environmental initiative. She served as SVP, Communications and department head in Discovery’s U.S. Networks division where she was responsible for all communications, events, publicity and talent management efforts on behalf of U.S-based cable networks including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Times Channel, Science Channel, Fit TV,  Military Channel, Discovery Home, and Discovery Kids Channel.  She oversaw all business communications for the division’s advertising & sales group, U.S. distribution, and strategic communications related to Discovery’s theatrical film unit and for the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team. Howell joined Discovery in 1999 where she helped launch Discovery Health Channel.

Before entering her career in the entertainment industry, Annie spent 12 years in public affairs and crisis communications at two Washington, DC-based agencies where she held multiple account positions. She was a founding member of Powell Tate created by former Presidential press secretaries, Jody Powell and Sheila Tate as well as Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs. 

Howell was honored by CableFax as one of the 2013 and 2012 “Most Powerful Women in Cable.” In 2009, she was named CableFax Magazine’s PR Person of the Year, received a PR Week Award for Consumer Launch of the Year, and was on PRWeek’s list of Who to Watch. In 2006, she received Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Touchstones of Leadership Communicator Award.

Annie currently serves on the national executive board of the Alliance for Women in Media. For five years, she has co-chaired the organization’s esteemed Gracie Awards For over ten years, she served on the executive committee and board of the Association of Cable Communicators and the NCTA Public Affairs Committee. She served on the Washington-Baltimore chapter board of WICT where she continues as an active participant. She is a member of the communications committee of The National Press Club and is active with Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (PR group) and a member of Washington Women in Communications.

Annie is a graduate of Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology (Tourism Industry Administration) and The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC) where she earned an International Coaches Federation (ICF) accredited certification as an executive coach. In 2018 and again in 2019, she attended a senior leaders immersive education program administered by the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and in 2008, she was named a Fellow of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute in which she graduated in 2009. She volunteers at several organizations in the DC area including The Christ Child Society and where she resides with her husband. She has two grown sons (and one fur son).

Crown Media Family Networks is the umbrella unit subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc., housing cable’s leading family friendly networks, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama. Hallmark Channel features an ambitious slate of new, original content, including movies, scripted series, annual specials, and a daily, two-hour lifestyle show.Hallmark Channel is also home to the popular annual holiday franchise “Countdown to Christmas,”featuring a lineup of 24/7 holiday programming. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is a 24-hour cable network featuring a unique mix of new, original movies and acquired series focused on the lighter side of the suspense and mystery genres. The network also features its own annual holiday programming franchise, “Miracles of Christmas”. Hallmark Drama showcases the rich legacy of the Hallmark Hall of Fame library and with zero duplication, spotlights movies and series from Crown Media’s collection of original dramatic content. Crown Media Family Networks is also home to Hallmark Movies Now, the company’s subscription streaming service, which offers wholly distinct content from the company’s linear channels. Crown Media Family Networks’ publishing extension, Hallmark Publishing, creates novelizations of previously aired original movie favorites. It also accepts author submissions for original, on-brand manuscripts that can be greenlit as a new movie or series for one of the company’s three linear networks.

     For more information, please visit
     Hallmark Channel on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest
     Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter
     Hallmark Drama on Social Media: Twitter
     Hallmark Publishing on Social Media: Twitter



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