Hallmark Goes Hollywood

For Hallmark Cards, the message looks like a better investment than the medium. Hallmark announced on Apr. 26 that it will buy RHI Entertainment, a producer of family oriented TV miniseries and movies, for more than $365 million. The deal makes sense: The Kansas City-based greeting-card maker is well known for its wholesome Hallmark Hall of Fame television productions. The two companies already are working together on eight made-for-TV extravaganzas, including Scarlett, an eight-hour sequel to American Civil War epic Gone With the Wind. But privately held Hallmark is retreating further from the distribution end of the business. In 1992, it sold Univision, a network of nine Spanish-language television stations. Now, its cable system with 850,000 subscribers, Crown Media, is on the block.

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