Hallmark Channels has hired Joan Gundlach to lead the distribution efforts for its services.
Gundlach, a longtime veteran with A&E Television Networks, has been appointed to executive vice president, distribution, where she will manage a team that will execute new and existing distribution agreements for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. Gundlach also has oversight of digital product opportunities to increase distribution and revenue.
Based in Chicago, Gundlach succeeds Janice Arouh, who left the programmer to become president of domestic distribution and marketing at Entertainment Studios Networks, a Los Angeles based HD programmer founded by comedian and reality TV pioneer Byron Allen, in leading Hallmark Channels' carriage charge.
Gundlach spent 18 years at A&E Television Networks, most recently as senior vice president, distribution. In that role, she was responsible for the revenue growth of 12 cable networks across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to calling on major MSOs to secure distribution for A&E's networks, Gundlach worked with the networks' distributors to create multimedia marketing initiatives to drive viewership and brand awareness.
Before joining A&E in 1991, Gundlach was general manager for Continental Cablevision in Chicago. She also served as program director for American Cablesystems and ATC (Time, Inc.), and as an engineer at WBAY-TV (CBS) in Green Bay, Wisc.
"Joan is a veteran of the cable industry and a major addition to our senior management team," said Hallmark Channels president and CEO Bill Abbott, to whom Gundlach reports, in a statement. "She is one of the industry's most experienced and respected distribution executives. Coming on the heels of the addition of Laura Sillars as senior vice president of lifestyle programming, I am confident that we are assembling a management team of A players to implement the strategic vision we have in place to grow our brand."
Noted Gundlach : "It is a privilege to be associated with the Hallmark brand and the quality that it represents. I am tremendously enthusiastic about having the opportunity to participate in the growth of Hallmark Channels and in the execution of the company's vision for its future."