Profile: William Abbott

Apr 23, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Title: Executive vice president of advertising sales, Hallmark Channel (formerly Odyssey Network).
Recent interesting deal: “One of our recent interesting deals is our partnership with Subaru of America. In a multitiered campaign, Subaru was the on-air sponsor for our first original miniseries from Hallmark Entertainment, `Voyage of the Unicorn,’ starring Beau Bridges. In conjunction with the telecast, we developed an on-air/Web site sweepstakes running throughout the month of March entitled `Adventures on the High Seas,’ featuring Hallmark adventure movies. It was a terrific success for everyone involved. With a full slate of original movies, miniseries and series in development with Hallmark Entertainment, we will be creating many more of these multilevel sponsored partnerships in the future.”
The next big thing: “Clearly, the next biggest thing on our horizon is the biggest thing that has ever happened to this network-its re-branding as Hallmark Channel on Aug. 6.
“More than ever before, advertisers are aware of our association with Hallmark, with its unparalleled tradition of excellence. They’re excited by the chance to be included in this kind of environment. For decades, the major broadcast and cable networks have turned to Hallmark Entertainment to produce their marquee events. Now, in addition to our slate of original programs, we benefit as a home for many of those major television events.
“On top of that, this network is the only place where viewers can see the Hallmark Hall of Fame Collection and the only place where advertisers can participate as sponsors in the franchise. We will be developing more and more strategic partnership opportunities for advertisers around significant Hallmark programming such as the Hallmark Hall of Fame Collection.
“We’re certain that advertisers looking for a quality, trusted environment will consider Hallmark Channel to be a must-buy.”
Is there anything you wish you’d sold more of? “A lot more tech stocks a lot sooner, just like everyone else. We’re working to attract even more advertisers in the automotive, telecommunications, technology and credit-cards categories.”
If you weren’t at a network selling, what would you be doing? “I’d be teaching media studies or English in a small New England college. Or I’d be fishing golf balls out of lakes with my trusty Labrador retriever. I know how many I’ve dumped in. If I can get even half that many out … I’m on Easy Street.”