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

Subscribe

Push for Gigi

Public Knowledge is the latest public interest group to mount a campaign to push for the confirmation of Gigi Sohn as the FCC’s fifth commissioner. Sohn actually co-founded the group focused on copyright

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

Calendar

Jan 28
Cablefax 100 – 2022 Nominations Due: January 28, 2022
Mar 11
The FAXIES 2022Entry Deadline: March 11
Apr 1
Cablefax Top Ops – 2022Nominations Due: April 1, 2022
Jun 3
The Diversity List – 2022Nomination Deadline: June 3
Aug 12
Most Powerful Women – 2022Nominations Due: August 12
Full Calendar

Jobs

Seeking an INDUSTRY JOB?
VIEW JOBS

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 John@cynopsis.com for more information.