Hallmark Channel CEO Bill Abbott Works His Magic By Creating Entertaining Pet Programs That Get Dogs and Cats Adopted
The Hero Dog Awards. The Kitten Bowl. The Paw Star Game and in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics, The Ultimate Kitten Summer Games. All of these creative events are aimed at landing thousands of shelter dogs and cats loving homes and all are under the direction of super pet advocate Bill Abbott. As CEO/President of Crown Media Family Networks, Abbott’s mission is to deliver family shows. And, he views pets as key members of the family. Tune into to this special episode of the Oh Behave Show hosted by Arden Moore as Bill Abbott shares upcoming special pet events and shows that will be airing on the Hallmark Channel. He is truly being dog’s (and cat’s) best friend!
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William J. Abbott is president and chief executive officer of Crown Media Family Networks, home of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, which is owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc. He oversees a team of seasoned executives who manage the day-to-day operations of all facets of both channels, including programming, marketing, ad sales, communications and media relations, distribution, finance, legal, and digital initiatives. Abbott is an industry veteran with more than 25 years of leadership experience in family television, with nearly 15 years at Crown Media Family Networks.
Under Abbott’s stewardship, Hallmark Channel has cemented its position as the leading destination for quality family-friendly entertainment on cable, including an ambitious slate of original content. In addition to movies and daytime lifestyle programming, Abbott recently spearheaded the addition of scripted series for primetime to the network’s lineup, as well as the launch of Hallmark Channel’s newest tradition, “Kitten Bowl,” featuring scores of adoptable kittens playing in a specially designed mock football field. “Kitten Bowl” made its debut on Super Bowl Sunday 2014 and will become an annual fixture on the network. During the course of Abbott’s tenure, the Hallmark Channel has also become home to some of television’s most beloved classic series, including “Frasier,” “Happy Days,” “I Love Lucy,” and “The Brady Bunch.
Breaking new ground for Hallmark Channel, Abbott piloted the development and implementation of Hallmark Channel’s signature, year-round marketing and programming initiative, “Countdown to the Holidays”, including its ever-popular “Countdown to Christmas” campaign, which routinely brings the network record ratings.
Abbott also oversaw the launch and unprecedented growth of sibling network Hallmark Movie Channel, which is currently in 54 million homes and continues to expand on its original programming slate each year.
Prior to being named president and CEO, Abbott was the company’s executive vice president of advertising sales. Under his stewardship, the annual advertising revenues for Hallmark Channel grew from $10.2 million to $223 million, setting the network apart as an industry leader. As executive vice president of advertising sales, he oversaw offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta, and was responsible for all of the national advertising sales operations for the networks, Internet services and digital network development.
Abbott and his team have positioned Hallmark Channel extremely well within the ad sales community where it is known for its high-quality family programming, continuous top 10 ratings leadership in C3 audience retention and length-of-tune among all ad-supported cable networks.
Among his many achievements, in 2008, Abbott led the ad sales team to secure the first Upfront deal of the ‘08-‘09 season. The multi-million dollar deal with ad agency Starcom included multiple clients across the agency and featured a multi-platform promotion, “Every Day is a Holiday,” which featured on-air and online presence. The partnership allowed the agency’s clients to choose a specific time of year important to their brands and products in order to break through the clutter with customized packages, which included vignettes.
In January 2004, Abbott launched the “Sponsorship Solutions Unit,” a revolutionary department that provides advertisers with unique opportunities to prominently showcase their message within Hallmark Channel programming. One of the Unit’s most successful ventures has been its “movie entitlements,” which allow advertisers to platform their brands and products in programming with a reduced commercial load that is proven to increase viewer engagement and length-of-tune.
Abbott has been with Crown Media Family Networks since 2000 after serving as senior vice president of advertising sales for Fox Family Worldwide where he was responsible for advertising sales activity for Fox Family Channel and Fox Kids Network. He worked in a variety of advertising sales and research positions within Fox Family Worldwide (and under its previous operation as The Family Channel) since 1988. His experience includes both cable and broadcast television advertising sales, having represented Fox Family Channel, Fox Kids Network and The Family Channel.
Abbott’s additional experience includes positions with CBS Radio Networks, Seltel, Inc. and Nadler & Larimer Advertising. His industry accolades include being named to the CableFax 100 list in 2009 - 2013. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.