Margaret Loesch's New Odyssey
Respected TV executive Margaret Loesch, who moved to the Jim Henson Company a year ago as president of its television group, has been named the president and CEO of the 30-million subscriber Odyssey cable channel. This comes after an announcement that Hallmark and The Jim Henson Company have bought a "substantial" stake in the religious network. Loesch's new responsibilities include developing original programming from Hallmark, Henson, Odyssey and National Interfaith Cable Coalition (NICC) and integrating it with the already well-established libraries of Hallmark and Henson. While the channel won't completely abandon religious programming, Odyssey will try to seek more adult and children viewers through family-oriented programming. The network hopes to have these changes in place by April 1999. Loesch's 28-year television career includes many executive roles at Marvel, Hanna-Barbara, NBC, and most famously, her development and founding role of the Fox Kid's Network in the early '90s and produced and distributed "Barney's First Adventure" as a simulcast to PBS/Fox Kids Network.