Following a pledge from Disney not to depict smoking in movies released under the Disney studio label, Crown’s Hallmark Channel became the 1st cable net to say it will seek to eliminate cigarette smoking in its original movies. "If there is a larger message in this, it’s that we’re trying to take a leadership position in the cable industry," Crown CEO Henry Schleiff, a former smoker himself, told Cfax. "When you hear so much about government regulation… when there’s an opportunity to self-regulate, we should take advantage of that." He added that there are probably other networks with similar policies that haven’t publicized it. The announcement comes in response to House Telecom chmn Ed Markey’s (D-MA) challenge for studios and producers to take steps to address glamorized or pervasive depictions of smoking on screen. Markey commended Hallmark’s move Fri, saying he looked forward to receiving additional commitments to discourage or eliminate smoking from movie studios and prominent cable programmers. Before AMC rushes out to get nicotine patches for the cast of characters in new drama "Mad Men," Schleiff said he knows the smoking ban wouldn’t be right for every network. His take: "When we’re asked to do something that’s appropriate to our own networks—let’s respond. The cable industry is responsive to reasonable requests." Hallmark says it’s the largest producer of original movies in the cable industry, with plans for 27 films in ’08. It will not edit smoking out of older originals or acquired programs but will seek to nix it from new original productions unless it’s really essential to the storyline, Schleiff said. Of course, Hallmark’s no smoking policy fits well with its marketing of itself as a family-friendly network—a moniker that Schleiff has hammered home this year as he seeks rate increases in contract renewals with most of the net’s affiliates.

The Daily


Early Signs Positive for Emergency Broadband Benefit Uptake

The FCC’s $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program kicked off with a bang Wednesday, and some 825 providers sat ready to answer consumer questions and get folks signed up for subsidies. Thus far, all has gone to plan and consumer interest is coming in either consistent with or in excess of providers’ early predictions.

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up


Jun 10
The FAXIES Awards – Virtual CelebrationSave the Date! - June 10, 2021
Jul 16
Diversity List – 2021 Nominations Due: July 16, 2021
Sep 10
Most Powerful Women – 2021 Nominations Due: Sept 10, 2021
Dec 7
Most Powerful Women CelebrationSave the Date!
Full Calendar


Seeking an INDUSTRY JOB?

Hiring? In conjunction with our sister brand, Cynopsis, we are offering hiring managers a deep pool of media-savvy, skilled candidates at a range of experience levels and sectors, The result will be an even more robust industry job board, to help both employers and job seekers.

Contact for more information.