Wonya Lucas is leaving Public Broadcasting Atlanta to lead the Crown Media Family Networks as president and CEO.
Crown Media Family Networks is a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc., and includes the Hallmark Channel and other TV channels. She will report to CEO Mike Perry.
“Wonya is a brand builder at her core who shares Hallmark’s beliefs and values,” Perry said in a news release announcing her appointment. “She has a deep understanding of the role our brand plays in fulfilling a bigger purpose in people’s lives.”
Lucas has led Public Broadcasting Atlanta as president and CEO since 2015. The joint licensee is operated by the Atlanta Educational Telecommunications Collaborative Inc.; its licenses are held by the Atlanta Board of Education.
In 2017, Lucas was elected to the NPR board. She also led a special committee that oversaw an outside investigation of how management handled allegations of sexual harassment by ousted NPR news chief Michael Oreskes. In 2019, she was elected NPR board vice chair.
“Hallmark has been central to my life since I can remember, starting with those Hallmark Hall of Fame movies that were as enriching as they were entertaining,” Lucas said in the release. “In some ways, my entire career has led me to this incredible opportunity to use the breadth of my experience and skills to evolve an iconic and beloved brand, a culture and a business. I am honored to link arms with the multi-talented leaders and their teams at Crown to build toward an exciting future.”
Before public media, Lucas served as CEO of TV One. She also worked in several executive roles at Discovery Communications, including EVP and COO for Discovery Channel and Science Channel. She was GM and EVP of the Weather Channel networks and also worked for Turner Broadcasting System, now part of Warner Media, as SVP of strategic marketing for CNN and as a VP for TNT and TBS.
Scott Woelfel, PBA’s chief content officer since early this year, will serve as interim CEO during a national search for Lucas’ successor, according to the station. “Scott has proven to be a strong and talented journalist and leader, and we know the company will be in good hands while we work toward finding our next CEO,” PBA said in a statement.