Hallmark Parent Crown Media's CEO Departs Month After Same-Sex Ad Controversy

The President and CEO of Hallmark Channel's parent Crown Media Holdings Inc., Bill Abbott, is leaving the company, Hallmark Cards Inc. announced Wednesday. What Happened The decision comes a month after the channel was embroiled in a controversy over pulli

Benzinga · 01/23/2020 05:07

The President and CEO of Hallmark Channel's parent Crown Media Holdings Inc., Bill Abbott, is leaving the company, Hallmark Cards Inc. announced Wednesday.

What Happened

The decision comes a month after the channel was embroiled in a controversy over pulling advertisements featuring same-sex couples.

"In a time when there is immense competition among television networks and streaming services, it is more important than ever that we find relevant new ways to grow our business and continue to produce high quality programming that resonates with our growing audience," Hallmark Cards CEO Mike Perry said in a statement.

Perry said that he would begin the search for "Bill's replacement," who had been with the company for 11 years.

Why It Happened

The television channel was heavily criticized December last year when it decided to pull several advertisements featuring same-sex couples, including an ad by wedding planning company Zola Inc. that featured two brides kissing at the altar.

Hallmark apologized and reinstated the ad after the move was criticized by media celebrity Ellen Degeneres, streaming giant Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), and advocacy group GLAAD, among others.