Wanya Lucas has announced her departure as Hallmark Channel CEO and President after three seasons.
The announcement came this week and means that Lucas will leave at the end of the year. She will however continue to serve on the Board.
Lucas became CEO in July 2020 replacing Bill Abbott after a controversy had engulfed the brand the previous year. The controversy came about when the Hallmark Channel removed four commercials that featured same sex weddings. The resulting public backlash saw Mike Perry, CEO of Hallmark Cards Inc. (Bill Abbott’s superior) apologise and reinstate the ads. Abbott would then go onto leave the network.
Lucas championed more diverse storylines and characters which saw LGBT characters in lead roles at the network. With her leadership team Lucas forged new partnerships with Peacock, YouTube and Hulu In addition to numerous FAST/AVOD platforms offering more ways in which to access Hallmark programming. She launched programs in support of women creatives with the Make Her Mark Women’s Directing Program.
Wanya Lucas released this statement:
“I am honored to have led this company and am tremendously proud of the progress we’ve made by creating an evolved entertainment experience that inspires meaningful, emotionally connected moments for our audiences. My passion for the Hallmark brand has grown in deeply rewarding ways and will remain paramount as I continue to help guide Hallmark Media’s future in a more strategically focused capacity.”
Mike Perry, President & CEO of Hallmark Companies, will take over Lucas’ duties when she leaves.