Hallmark, in announcing the move Tuesday, said Hallmark Companies CEO Mike Perry will work with Lucas and the Hallmark Media team to guide the platform through her transition.
“I am honored to have led this company and am tremendously proud of the progress we’ve made by creating an evolved entertainment experience that inspires meaningful, emotionally connected moments for our audiences,” Lucas said. “My passion for the Hallmark brand has grown in deeply rewarding ways and will remain paramount as I continue to help guide Hallmark Media’s future in a more strategically focused capacity.”
Lucas will continue to serve on the Hallmark Media board of directors.
Lucas joined Hallmark from TV One in 2020, replacing Bill Abbott as the president and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards Inc. She took over Hallmark following a particularly fraught holiday season that saw Hallmark remove a commercial featuring a same-sex couple and eventually backtrack and apologize for its decision.
During her three-year run, Lucas — the daughter of Major League Baseball’s first Black GM (for the Atlanta Braves) and the niece of the late and great Hall of Famer Hank Aaron — transformed Hallmark to better reflect society with more diverse and inclusive storylines, characters and programming. She transformed Hallmark’s executive suites and inked partnerships with Peacock, YouTube and Hulu as well as free ad-supported platforms.
“Wonya is a multi-faceted industry veteran, passionate brand builder, and consummate strategic leader,” said Perry. “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.”