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Wonya Lucas is making big changes at the Hallmark Channel

Wonya Lucas landed a job as the CEO of the Hallmark Channel with two directives: Keep its brand intact and disrupt its playbook. At the same time.

Since mid-2020, Lucas has been the CEO of Hallmark Media, the parent of the cable-TV network known for its romantic storylines and feel-good holiday movies. In that time, Hallmark has diversified its casts and storylines — and changed how the channel itself is distributed as subscribers flee for streaming services. And she’s done it all while staying true to the Hallmark brand, which Lucas said is always on her mind.

“My first goal was understanding the audience, but then also understanding what I called the opportunity audience,” Lucas said in an interview with CNBC.

Lucas is a veteran in the media industry. She held top jobs at Turner Broadcasting networks like TNT and TBS and also at the Discovery Channel — years before they were brought together in the Warner Bros. Discovery
merger — as well as The Weather Channel and TV One. She also spent parts of her career on the brand management side of household consumer companies like Coca-Cola
and Clorox

She credits that brand expertise for her focus and success at Hallmark. Her colleagues also point to that brand consciousness, even as she makes changes at Hallmark.

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