Former Hallmark CEO Launches Channel With Original Family Movies




Bill Abbott attends a Hallmark Channel event in 2019.

Bill Abbott, the former CEO of The Hallmark Channel, is launching two new TV channels. One will be dedicated to providing original and family-friendly films, including films with holiday themes.

GAC Family to Provide Original Movies Related to Holidays and Other Occasions

Abbott launches two new channels under the umbrella of GAC Media. These will launch on September 27 and will be called GAC Family and GAC Living, according to a press release. shared on LinkedIn.

The GAC Family channel has the slogan “Stories Well Told” and is an evolution of what was originally the Great American Country channel. It will include scripted content that “will evolve to include a roster of original family-friendly films and series that celebrate the relationships and emotional connections that come with vacations, seasons and occasions,” the press release said.

Great American Country is a Tennessee-based cable television network that started out as a country music channel, but then expanded to include lifestyle programming. The channel is already broadcast by several cable networks and can also be watched on streaming services like Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and Philo. It is not known when the new original films will begin airing on GAC Family.

Meanwhile, the GAC Living channel is an evolution of the Ride TV network, which GAC Media also acquired. GAC Living will focus on unscripted lifestyle content and will be the “unscripted companion” of GAC Family. The slogan of this channel is “Life well lived”. The press release says it will “draw on established themes and talents to mark the celebrations and seasons with a focus on life in the south and in the country.”

The programming schedules for the two channels are not yet available and will be announced at a later date.

Abbott said in a statement:

At GAC, we’re focused on building strong brands, engaging programming, and a cohesive, family-friendly viewing experience for multiple genres. The launch of GAC Family and GAC Living is the next phase in our strategy to strengthen the company’s portfolio with networks that hold the promise of safe and entertaining storytelling that enriches life.

Abbott left The Hallmark Channel in January 2020 after 11 years, The Hollywood Reporter reported. In July 2020, Hallmark brought Wonya Lucas as the new CEO and President of The Hallmark Channel.

GAC Media bought a large American country from Discovery for around $ 90 million

In June, GAC Media announced that it had purchased Great American Country from Discovery. Bloomberg reported that a source said GAC Media bought the network for around $ 90 million. Hicks Equity Partners supported the purchase. The group has previously tried to buy One American News Network and Newsmax TV.

GAC Media said this is its first investment in family friendly programming, Deadline reported.

In a press release at the time of purchase, GAC media noted: “Together, GAC and RIDE TV are the first two channels in GAC Media’s larger effort to revitalize and invest in family programming that is both timeless and entertaining. “

In June, Abbott told Deadline about GAC Media’s future plans:

Even as the entertainment ecosystem continues to evolve rapidly, both in terms of distribution platforms and underlying content, consumer interest in family programming that enriches lives and provides safe entertainment options remains. stronger than ever. GAC and RIDE TV are fundamental strengths in this regard, and we look forward to growing both channels while pursuing the broader goal of establishing new, well-rounded and engaging programming for families.

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