Hallmark Channel Takes Some Heat
January 19, 2007 3:54 PM
The folks at Crown Media Holdings’ Hallmark Channel are probably on the ceiling right now, given the Business Week piece that appears in the Jan. 29, ‘07 issue. BW said the Kansas City, Mo. based parent of Hallmark is “an object lesson in how not to run a media company.” But BW gets the irony of the channel’s core woes. It’s losing money even though it consistently rates as one of the top 10 basic cable ad-supported networks.
BW says that Crown Media’s new president and CEO Henry Schleiff was brought into the company to sell the network. That’s not entirely true. Schleiff’s mission, as he has told me, is to serve shareholders by increasing the channel’s value, even though the net had earlier been on the block for nine months with no successful bidders. That means that if Schleiff can increase shareholder value, it might not be for sale.
But here’s the real kicker: Former Crown Media Chairman Robert A. Halmi suggested that if a buyer emerges, the first thing the new owner would do is to dump the name Hallmark. So marketing mavens, weigh in: Is Hallmark a strong brand? I think, without question, yes.