Former CEO Bill Abbott says he left his mark on America’s mainstream media to provide entertainment for audiences who don’t want to ‘think about dark, violent and sexual situations’


A civil war is brewing in the world of family entertainment since the Hallmark Channel bent the knee to progressive critics and shifted its focus from family entertainment to projects focused on promoting “diversity and inclusion.”

Source: Marry Mr. Darcy (2018), Hallmark

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Vice President of Network Programming at Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media Family, George Zaralidis told NBC in 2020 that “diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making announcements from exciting lineup in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors.

Shortly after that statement, Bill Abbott, then CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, resigned and joined rival GAC Media – operating name Great American Media – to fend off new management at his former company.

Source: The Great American Christmas Begins October 21, Great American Family YouTube

Abbot has made it clear he means business, because since joining Great American Media as its new CEO and President, he’s successfully recruited a number of Hallmark’s biggest movie and TV stars to join him in his new venture.

Earlier this year, former Hallmark Channel favorite Candace Cameron Bure signed a multi-year deal with GAC Media.

Source: Joy for Christmas (2022), Great American Family

In the weeks that followed, she was joined by fellow stars Danica McKellar, Jen Lilley, Jessica Lowndes, Cameron Mathison and Debbie Matenopoulos.

These Hallmark defectors intend to write, produce and even direct their own content on the new network, all with the goal of providing a true family oasis in the world of entertainment.

Source: Angel Falls Christmas (2022), Great American Family

“It’s more than turning on a show, it’s turning on the channel and feeling something,” Abbott recalled of his time at Hallmark during a recent interview with the YouTube channel. Family Clever regarding his goals for Great American Media. “You turn it on and you know what you’re going to get. There is an expectation and we are responding to that expectation.

Returning to the present, Abbott continued, “That’s what I think is missing in the environment right now. Networks are everywhere and you never really know what you are going to get”

“I’ve gotten so many letters to Hallmark about people saying they’re coming home from work and they’re having a rough day and they can turn on our channel and only have two hours they had not thinking about dark situations, about violence, about sexual situations, about things that just…create anxiety,” he added.

Source: A Christmas Star (2022), Great American Family

Moving on to the stars themselves, Abbott then explained to Family Savvy host Jamie Tarence, “Fans are so passionate about the talent…about what they do and the experience they’re creating for them, and so when i moved here [to GAC]those relationships certainly continue and transcend wherever one of us works.

“So Candace Cameron Bure is definitely the one that’s best known,” the CEO said. “She’s the queen of the genre, the queen of Christmas.”

Source: Switched for Christmas (2017), Hallmark

RELATED: Three Ways to Make Kids’ Entertainment Great Again

Further praising his stars, Abbott claimed, “I think the best part of the talent we work with is that they’re great people.”

“They’re not only talented on screen,” he said, “but they’re good people who do the right thing, whose news you’re not going to read, who have families, who sustain faith, family, and country.

Source: Harmony from the Heart (2021), Great American Family

To that end, Abbott noted that Great American Media has made it a point to work with actors who exemplify the best in humanity.

“We were very conscious of working with people like Candace, like Danica McKellar, Jen Lilley, who is a quality person who has a big family and a big heart,” he said. “Jen is a great example with the amount of charity work she does for children…Trevor Donovan has an anti-bullying initiative that he’s taking and going to schools across the country…It’s A model.”

“We want our talents to be role models and to represent us well…”, continued the CEO. “Overall, reinforce…the positive sides…that are life-affirming.”

Source: We officially adopted!, Jen Lilley YouTube

And the feeling is mutual, as in a recent encounter with Variety, Bure said of her time at Great American Media, “It was so wonderful. I feel like Bill gave me my first shot after taking a really long break from work.

“Anyone who works knows how difficult it can be, whatever their job,” she said. “Any mum knows that when she stops working she’s nervous about coming back – if it’s 10 years later, 20 years later she wonders if she’s still too old to continue working. work.”

Source: The Christmas Contest via Hallmark Channel YouTube

RELATED: Hallmark Channel Boycott Begins After Company Reverses Ruling on Zola’s Gay Marriage Ads

“There’s real fear out there for a lot of people, so I felt like Bill gave me my first chance to come back into the business and I’ll always be grateful to him,” recalls- she. “I really grew alongside him as he built the network.”

Continuing to shower Abbott with gratitude, Bure affirmed, “Bill has always been a champion. He’s been a champion for others throughout his career and that’s what made him an amazing president and CEO of a company because he knows he’s not doing it himself. .

Source: A Christmas Miracle for Daisy (2022), Great American Family

“It takes a team and it takes loyalty and it takes people doing their best,” she explained. “And he always recognizes that, which makes him a great leader.

“It’s a relationship of nearly 15 years,” concluded Bure. “I trust what Bill has done over the years and it really means a lot to me.” It’s also why a move to Great American Family was a good move for me because of the long-standing relationship with Bill.

Candace Cameron Bure and Natasha Bure at the University City Hilton Hotel 27th Annual Movieguide® Awards Photo Credit: Movieguide®, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Great American Media has a number of projects set to debut this fall.

Danica McKellar is set to produce her first holiday feature for the channel, “Christmas at the Drive-In,” which will be part of the network Great American Christmas celebration, a holiday hackathon that will run from October 21 through the end of 2022.

Lori Loughlin will also make her Great American Family debut in “Fall Into Winter,” a January film for the network that begins production next month.

Source: What Women Binge Podcast

NEXT: Hallmark Fires Lori Loughlin – Cleans Up Promo Images For When Calls The Heart


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