Crown crowns FitzPatrick

Exec to help develop int'l version of Hallmark Channel

NEW YORK — Paul FitzPatrick, chief operating officer of Crown Media U.S., has been elevated to executive VP and chief operating officer of parent company Crown Media Holdings.

The new job became vacant two weeks ago when Lana Corbi relinquished it to become president-CEO of Crown Media U.S. Corbi succeeded Margaret Loesch, who decided not to renew her contract.

Crown’s main asset in the U.S. is the Hallmark Channel, which has grown dramatically in the last two years to 40 million subscribers — still well shy of the 80 million-plus to which TBS, USA, TNT and TNN lay claim.

FitzPatrick, based in New York, will continue to run the distribution strategy for Hallmark Channel. In his new job, he’ll also get more involved in developing the international version of the Hallmark Channel, which appears in 100 countries. He reports to both Corbi and David Evans, president-CEO of Crown Media Holdings.

Before joining Crown last year, FitzPatrick was chief operating officer of the Golf Channel. Earlier, he founded and ran News Talk TV, a cable network launched in 1994 and bought by MSNBC in 1996. Previous jobs have included president-COO of the Weather Channel (1991-93) and president-COO of C-SPAN.

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