Crown Media Launches In-House Production Company, New Ad Division Crown Connectivity

Crown Media Family Networks is getting into the production business.

The parent of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is launching Crown Media Productions, an in-house production company aimed at increasing the company’s original content across multiple platforms.

The unit will be headed by Michelle Vicary, who called it “the next stage of the company’s evolution.” Crown Media Productions is expected to produce up to six TV films in 2015 under a Hallmark banner. The goal is to double production in 2016.

The first films are expected to debut later this year.

Vicary stated that the benefits to Crown Media were twofold: “more direct input into the creative process and financing and rights retention.” The company will provide financing for the new entity and retain all distribution rights worldwide.

Separately, Crown is also launching Crown Connectivity, a new division that integrates advertising cross-platform: linear, digital, and social.

Bill Abbott, president and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks, stated that Crown Connectivity will permit the cabler to "more effectively collaborate with our advertising partners in the development of innovative, customized campaigns that bridge Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries with their online extensions.”

The ad division follows a recent redesign of both networks’ Web sites. So far this year, page views were up 57%, unique visitors up 58%, and video views up 69% across its Web platforms, according to the company.

In a recent study, Hallmark Channel had the second-highest level of viewer engagement of any network on television, per Sprout and Facebook.



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