'Martha Stewart Show,' Holiday Movies Boost Crown Media's Q4 Earnings

4:17 PM PST 03/03/2011 by Paul Bond
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Martha Stewart

The company earned $29 million in the quarter thanks to Hallmark Channel's home programming block's 40% increase in audience during the holiday frame.

Crown Media leaned on Martha Stewart and Christmas movies to earn $29 million in the fourth quarter, a vast improvement over the $373,000 the company earned in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue rose 17% to $90.7 million, the company said Thursday.

For the year, the company reversed a loss of $22.6 million in 2009 by earning a profit of $24 million in 2010.

The Hallmark Channel home programming block that features the Martha Stewart Show showed a 40% increase in audience during the holiday frame.

Crown said that Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween movies and shows on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel reached 75 million viewers.

Advertising revenue during the quarter was up 13% to $68.2 million and revenue from subscriber fees rose 34% to $22 million.

Crown Media disclosed its earnings prior to the opening bell on Wall Street and shares rose 7% on the day to $2.61.

"The strategic initiatives that we put into place this year, including differentiation of our channels, strong relationships with our distribution partners and our recapitalization – have paved the way for these operating results," said president and CEO Bill Abbott.

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