President and Chief Executive Officer of Great American Media
Bill Abbott is President and Chief Executive Officer of Great American Media, home to the portfolio of family-friendly brands, including linear TV networks, Great American Family and Great American Living; a free streaming app, Great American Community; and a FAST channel, Great American Adventures. As the company’s flagship network, Great American Family features original holiday movies, rom-coms and classic series celebrating faith, family and country.
Abbott co-founded Great American Media in June 2021 and led the company’s acquisition of Great American County Network from Discovery, Inc. and RIDE TV, which were rebranded as Great American Family and Great American Living. The following month, Abbott oversaw the debut of Great American Christmas, the portfolio’s signature franchise featuring 24/7 Christmas movies and fan-favorite stars like Candace Cameron Bure, Danica McKellar, Trevor Donovan, Lori Loughlin and more. In June 2022 Abbott launched Great American Adventures, the company’s first FAST (free ad-supporting streaming TV) channel and in September 2022 debuted Great American Community, the free direct-to-consumer app.
In First Quarter 2023, Great American Family extended its streak as the fastest-growing network on TV ranking #1 in ratings growth for the second consecutive quarter. The new leader in original Christmas movies, seasonal rom-coms and family-friendly series closed out the quarter with the highest increases for Total Day ratings in Households and Total Viewers, and the largest gains in Primetime ratings in Households and Total Viewers.
Abbott is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of leadership experience in cable television. Previously, Abbott served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Crown Media Family Networks, the parent company of Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Drama, which are owned and operated by Hallmark Cards, Inc. Abbott’s vision and passion for the brand established Hallmark Channel as the leading destination for quality, family-friendly entertainment on cable. Building on its signature slate of original movies, Abbott is responsible for significantly expanding and diversifying the network’s lineup of original content to include primetime scripted series, daytime Emmy®-nominated lifestyle series “Home & Family,” and annual specials, including “Kitten Bowl,” “Hero Dog Awards,” and “American Rescue Dog Show.” Abbott also piloted the development of Hallmark Channel’s popular holiday programming initiative Countdown to Christmas, which consistently elevated the network to be among the most-watched and highest-rated on cable throughout fourth quarter.
Under Abbott’s stewardship, the company rebranded sibling network Hallmark Movie Channel in 2014 as Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. As its line-up of trademark mystery movies series continued to expand, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries became one of cable’s fastest growing networks, registering double-digit annual ratings growth over several years. In 2017, Abbott was responsible for the launch of the company’s third linear channel Hallmark Drama, in addition to Hallmark Movies Now, Crown Media’s subscription video on demand service.
Prior to serving as President and CEO, Abbott was Executive Vice President of Ad Sales for Crown Media Family Networks, overseeing the company’s Ad Sales team and digital network development. While heading the Ad Sales division, Abbott grew Hallmark Channel’s annual revenue from $10.2 million to $223 million setting the network apart as an industry leader.
Before his 20-year tenure at Crown Media, Abbott served as Senior Vice President of Advertising Sales for Fox Family Worldwide where he was responsible for growing ad sales revenue for Fox Family Channel and Fox Kids Broadcast Network. Prior to that, Abbott held research positions with CBS Radio Networks, Seltel, Inc. and Nadler & Larimer Advertising.
Abbott currently serves on the board of directors for Animal Humane, Parents TV & Media Council, and International Radio & Television Society Foundation and is a 2017 inductee into Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.