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Hulbert to Head Hallmark International Channel Network

Ex-Disney TV Intl chief David Hulbert has found a lovely new home to head as chief exec of Hallmark International Channel network. The network itself is taking up a new home with Sparrowhawk, the media group that is in the process with Providence Equity Partners and 3i of buying the Hallmark Intl Channel from Crown Media Holdings.

The Hallmark International Channel network has more than 60 million subscribers worldwide, the international rights to more than 580 titles in the Crown Media library and a state-of-the-art broadcast facility in Denver, Colorado.

Hulbert recently left Walt Disney, spending four out of his 10 years of service as president of the Walt Disney Television International (WDTV-I) division where he was responsible for launching more than 50 channels and movie services as the Disney Channel network expanded to more than 70 countries, and won many creative awards in the process. He was also responsible for TV Distribution and Disney's international TV equity investments, managing a team of 800, which saw revenues grow to $1.5bn and achieve record levels of profitability.

Previous roles include business start-ups at Ravensbeck, business development and general management at Seagram Distillers, consulting at McKinsey & Co and marketing at Lever Brothers.

Sparrowhawk chairman David Elstein said, "We are delighted to have secured the services of David, one of the industry's top executives, to develop and build our business. David's experience of launching channels, negotiating international deals and growing significant revenues will help us create a business of scale."

Sparrowhawk is the management company formed by Elstein to acquire the international versions of the Hallmark Channel, the international rights to titles in the Crown Media library and its broadcast facility in Denver. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the applicable regulatory authorities. The company expects to obtain approval and complete the transaction within four to six weeks.

Providence Equity Partners Inc. is a private investment firm specializing inequity investments in communications and media companies around the world. The principals of Providence Equity manage funds with over $9.0 billion in equity commitments, including Providence Equity Partners V, a $4.25 billion private equity fund, and have invested in more than 80 companies operating in over 20 countries since the firm's inception in 1991. Providence Equity has offices in Providence, Rhode Island, London and New York City.

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital, investing in a wide range of opportunities from start-ups to buy-outs and buy-ins. It invests in businesses across three continents through local investment teams in Europe, Asia Pacific and the USA. To date, 3i has invested more than $27 billion (including co-investment funds). 3i has been very active in the media-publishing sector.