Integration is Hallmark of Masse's plans

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NEW YORK -- Crown Media Holdings Inc., owner and operator of the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, has promoted Laura Masse to executive vp marketing.

Masse will oversee all facets of marketing and branding for the channels, directing teams responsible for developing the networks' multiplatform consumer, affiliate and advertiser-focused media campaigns. She also will be the key liaison with Hallmark Cards in developing "synergistic opportunities" with its other brand extensions, including Hallmark Magazine, Hallmark Flowers and the nearly 4,000 Hallmark Gold Crown stores, the company said.

Masse, who is the first person to take on the executive vp marketing title since Chris Moseley left the network in April, reports to Crown Media president and CEO Henry Schleiff.

"We are thrilled to have Laura in this leadership role," Schleiff said. "She has been a major contributor to the success of the network through creative campaigns that have helped to make Hallmark Channel not only consistently within the Top 10 but also the brand leader in quality, family-friendly programming. We anxiously wait to see what Laura dreams up next to help us reach our future ratings, ad sales and affiliate distribution plateaus."

Hallmark Channel finished 2006 as the No. 9 advertiser-supported cable channel in U.S. households, up two spots from its 2005 ranking. In the fourth quarter of 2006, Hallmark Channel was sixth.

Masse said that under her leadership, Hallmark Channel will continue to offer advertisers on-air opportunities including 30-second spots, customized vignettes and billboards as well as off-air cross-promotional opportunities with Hallmark Gold Crown stores, Hallmark.com, Hallmark Flowers and Hallmark Magazine.

"We are unique in that we are a vertically integrated company, and I think the marketing opportunities because of that are enormous," she said. "My job is not only to use those partnerships to make consumers aware of what's on the network and to drive ratings but to create innovative ways for our advertisers and distribution partners to take advantage of these promotions."

Before her promotion, Masse served as senior vp marketing. She had effectively taken over Moseley's responsibilities before officially earning the executive vp title.

Before joining Hallmark Channel about five years ago, Masse was vp marketing for AMC and held marketing posts at Discovery Channel. She also held account management positions at the Earle Palmer Brown and Muller Jordan Weiss ad agencies, where her clients included the Learning Channel and the Walt Disney Co.
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