Hallmark Channels have promoted one of its own to lead the networks' advertising sales effort.
Edward Georger has been elevated to executive vice president, advertising sales. In his new role, Georger, who had been senior vice president of advertising sales, is responsible for the national advertising sales of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel including packaging, pricing and planning, their Internet services and developing digital networks. Continuing to be based in New York, he will oversee sales offices there, as well as in Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta and also direct the channels' advertising sales marketing, advertising sales research, direct-response and traffic teams.
Georger will report to Bill Abbott, president and CEO of Crown Media Holdings, Inc., the owner and operator of the two cable networks. Abbott previously headed sales for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel before he was promoted when Henry Schleiff stepped down at the end of May.
Previously, Georger oversaw sales teams in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, including direct response and paid programming sales. He was instrumental in forming the network's Sponsorship Solutions Unit, which creates customized and multi-platform opportunities for advertisers, and was responsible for opening the network's advertising sales office in Atlanta.
Prior to joining Hallmark Channel, Georger held key positions at the cable television networks Family Channel and Fox Family Channel, where he was vice president of eastern sales. He also worked as a network buyer at Backer Spielvogel Bates, Inc. on major accounts, including Miller Brewing Co. Hyundai and M&M Mars, Inc.
"Ed has made extraordinary contributions to the growth of our networks, helping to drive exponential growth in our ad revenue since he joined the company in its infancy nearly 10 years ago," said Abbott in a statement.. "This well-deserved recognition demonstrates our confidence in his ability to lead our strong advertising sales team in continuing to identify and develop new opportunities for even greater success going forward."
In addition, Cindy Kelly was promoted to senior vice president, national advertising sales, and Stephanie Versichelli has joined the company as senior vice president, eastern sales. Both Kelly and Versichelli will report to Georger.
Kelly, who was serving as senior vice president, New York sales and new media, will co-manage day-to-day sales activities in the New York office and expand her role with the Hallmark Channels by serving as the liaison in the creation of new sponsorship and sales opportunities across the country. She will also have increased responsibility for the Sponsorship Solutions Unit, and will assume new business and digital opportunities nationwide. In addition, she will serve as liaison between Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Cards to offer advertisers integrated packages
Versichelli, who comes to the family friendly programmer after nearly 20 years at MTV Networks, will also work in the New York office and will also be responsible for co-managing day-to-day activities for the New York and oversee Southeast advertising sales teams, including developing and presenting sales opportunities to buyers, planners and clients. She will also manage the direct response and paid programming teams, including day-to-day focus on client presentations, directing sales efforts and anticipating marketplace projections."
"Cindy is a seasoned veteran who has made an invaluable impact on our advertising sales success with the numerous strategic sponsorships she has developed," said Abbott. "I'm also delighted to welcome Stephanie whose strong television advertising background will help us to re-set the bar on rates and increase revenues as we expand the Hallmark Channels. All of these executive moves will strengthen us and enable us to remain extremely competitive in this crowded and challenging television advertising market."