Crown Media’s General Counsel Charlie Stanford Retires After 17 Years

Crown Media Family Networks made some big changes in its castle this morning.

Seventeen-year vet Charlie Stanford is retiring as General Counsel and EVP of Business Affiars. He’ll be replaced by Deanne Stedem who was Associate General Counsel at Crown’s parent, Hallmark Cards.  She’ll oversee the same turf, as well as distribution, and report to CEO Bill Abbott.

In addition, Crown is bringing back Mark Kern in a new job as SVP, Corporate Communications & Media Relations. He worked at the company before moving to The Hub, Discovery’s joint venture with Hasbro that in 2014 was revamped and rebranded as Discovery Family Channel.

He will work in Studio City and report to Marketing, Creative & Communications EVP Susanne McAvoy and Programming & Network Publicity EVP Michelle Vicary.

Abbot calls Stanford “one of the most well-liked and respected people in entertainment” whose insights “have been instrumental in establishing and guiding our business from the very beginning.”

Before joining Crown, Stanford worked at ABC and Capital Cities/ABC, and was an attorney at the FCC’s broadcast bureau.

The CEO also lauded Kern’s “creativity, understanding of the business, and strong leadership” which will promote “the continued success of our ratings and bottom line.”

Hallmark took Crown private last month. Previously it owned 90% of the operation that owns  Hallmark Channel (in 90 million U.S. homes) and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (in 66 million).

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