Hallmark Channel for Sale

Crown Media will explore strategic alternatives.
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Hallmark Channel operator

Crown Media

(CRWN)

put itself up for sale Thursday, sending its shares up 5% in postclose trading.

The Studio City, Calif., company said its board authorized it to explore strategic alternatives, including a potential sale to a third party. The board formed a special committee of independent directors to oversee the process.

Hallmark Cards advised Crown that it fully supports the decision. Hallmark also said it would consider a license agreement on the Hallmark Channel name if requested by a potential acquirer.

"After considering various factors, including the strong performance of the Hallmark Channel and the prevailing current economic realities of being a one channel business in our industry, the Board unanimously determined that now is the time to look at all alternatives," CEO David Evans said.

"Since its launch just four years ago, Hallmark Channel has experienced tremendous growth in all of its key business areas, including distribution, ratings and revenues. Today, Hallmark Channel is one of the top ten rated cable channels in both total day and prime time with nearly 70 million subscribers, and is well-positioned for continued success."

Late Thursday, Crown shares rose 47 cents to $9.32.