Hallmark Media has announced that its CEO, Wonya Lucas, will be stepping down from her executive position at the close of the year.

Lucas’ Tenure at Hallmark

Wonya Lucas took the reins of Hallmark Media in 2020, succeeding Bill Abbott amidst a wave of controversy after the channel withdrew an advertisement from online wedding planning company Zola that spotlighted a same-sex couple. Lucas, in her time as the chief executive, was lauded for her commitment to diversifying Hallmark projects, which had faced criticism for their historically homogenous portrayal of characters and storylines. The network aired “The Christmas House,” its inaugural holiday romance featuring a same-sex couple, within the same year.

The official statement from the company articulated that under Lucas’s guidance, there was a distinct shift towards “more diverse and inclusive storylines and characters,” thereby laying a robust foundation for Hallmark’s future business.

Upon the announcement, Lucas commented on her time at Hallmark, stating, “I am honored to have led this company and am tremendously proud of the progress we’ve made.” She also mentioned her plans to continue her association with Hallmark Media in a different capacity.

Transition to New Leadership

As Lucas prepares to step down, the day-to-day operations of Hallmark Media will be overseen by Mike Perry, the president and CEO of Hallmark Companies. Perry, in collaboration with Lucas and the executive leadership team, will handle the transitional phase.

Perry acknowledged Lucas’ contributions, stating, “I’m grateful for the important work she has done to bring the expansive foundation of the iconic Hallmark brand to life and am fortunate that her insights will continue to positively impact the future of the business.”

Future Role at Hallmark

Despite her departure from the CEO role, Lucas will remain involved with Hallmark Media, continuing her service on the company’s board of directors.