Lori Loughlin Dropped By Hallmark Channel Due To Elite College Bribery Scandal

Read on: Deadline.

Two days after Lori Loughlin flew into town from a Vancouver set to face charges and arrest over the elite college entrance fraud scheme, the Hallmark Channel has cut all of its various ties with the actor.
“We are saddened by the recent news sur…

Crown Media Wants Lawyer Lisa Bloom Off Mark Steines’ Home & Family’ Suit

Read on: Deadline.

After failing to get Mark Steines’ retaliation and wrongful termination lawsuit tossed out, Hallmark Channel’s owner is now aiming to have the former Home & Family co-host’s high profile attorney Lisa Bloom pushed out of the case.
“This motio…

Mark Steines Scores Win Over Hallmark Channel Owner On ‘Home & Family’ Exit

Read on: Deadline.

Crown Media got their family values handed to them today by a federal judge who unequivocally rejected the Hallmark Channel owner’s desire to toss ex-Home & Family co-host Mark Steines’ retaliation and wrongful termination lawsuit.

Hallmark Channel Owner Sued For Sexual Harassment By ‘Home & Family’ Ex-Chef

Read on: Deadline.

The blast radius from allegations of sexual harassment by Home and Family creator Woody Fraser just legally expanded for Hallmark Channel owner Crown Media Family Networks in a wrongful termination and harassment suit from a former chef on the homespun…

Mark Steines ‘Home & Family’ Legal Claims Have ‘No Merit,’ Hallmark Channel Owner Says

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The parent company of Hallmark Channel has fired back against former “Home & Family” co-host Mark Steines’ lawsuit alleging that he was let go because he supported two women who had filed sexual harassment complaints against the show’s executive producer, saying that his legal claims have “no merit.”

In a statement issued to TheWrap on Thursday, Crown Media Family Networks said that the decision to replace Steines was due to declining ratings.

Crown also said that third party research “indicated that Mr. Steines was perceived negatively.”

Also Read: Ex-‘Home & Family’ Co-Host Mark Steines Files Lawsuit Over Hallmark Channel Exit

“Crown Media has not seen the complaint, but has read in the media that Mark Steines has filed a lawsuit against Crown Media regarding his separation from ‘Home & Family’ earlier this year. The decision to replace Mark Steines was a measured, strategic and difficult decision for Crown Media to make, but was necessary given that the ratings for the show had declined,” the statement reads. “Further, the results of third party research indicated that Mr. Steines was perceived negatively. There is no merit to the legal claims Mr. Steines is asserting against Crown Media. Crown Media is also surprised that Lisa Bloom is representing Mr. Steines in this matter since she has a consulting agreement with Crown Media.”

The statement added, “Crown Media is proud of ‘Home & Family’ and the continued progress we have made in elevating the content and impact of our program. We are excited about the new creative direction for this new season and its potential.”

The Bloom Firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

On Thursday, Steines filed suit against Crown, alleging that he was terminated from “Home & Family” for supporting two female accusers of then-executive producer Woody Fraser.

Also Read: Mark Steines Returns to Social Media as Superman After Surprise Hallmark Channel Firing (Photo)

According to the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, “In the spring and summer of 2017, two courageous ‘Home & Family’ female producers asserted claims of sexual harassment against Mr. Fraser and Defendants. Plaintiff Mark Steines stood up in support of the women by providing truthful information to the women’s attorneys in support of their claims. Mr. Steines acted appropriately in opposing and reporting Mr. Fraser’s sexual harassment, and supporting the women who spoke out against Mr. Fraser. After learning that Mr. Steines had spoken with the women and their attorney, Defendants chose to flagrantly violate the law by retaliating against him.”

That retaliation, the suit says, included a substantial reduction of Steines’ salary, a cut in his regular voiceover work, a diminished role in network events, and ultimately Steines’ “abrupt early termination, conducted in an utterly unprofessional manner intended to personally humiliate Mr. Steines while maximizing damage to his professional reputation.”

According to the suit, Steines witnessed Fraser acting inappropriately on multiple occasions. In spring 2017, the suit says, two female “Home & Family” employees formally reported their sexual harassment claims and, when contacted by their attorney, Lisa Bloom, Steines “voluntarily participated in Ms. Bloom’s investigation by providing truthful information in support of the sexual harassment victims.”

Also Read: Why Mark Steines Is No Longer Hallmark ‘Home & Family’ Co-Host (Exclusive)

After which, the suit says, Steines was retaliated against, culminating in a May 30, 2018 meeting during which Steines “was terminated effective immediately, with Defendants citing only ‘creative differences.’”

“Mr. Steines had no creative differences with the show, the producers, or network executives,” the suit reads. “Mr. Steines is informed and believes that Defendants’ proffered nondiscriminatory reason for terminating Mr. Steines was actually a pretext for terminating Mr. Steines in retaliation for reporting and opposing Mr. Fraser’s sexual harassment to Defendants in December 2016, and for and speaking to Ms. Bloom in support of Mr. Fraser’s sexual harassment victims in 2017.”

While Fraser is not named as a defendant in the suit, in June 2017 he issued a statement saying that he had refused to settle sexual harassment accusations in “an amount she demanded,” adding, “I engaged in no actionable conduct.”

“In a few days, on behalf of two of her clients, attorney Lisa Bloom may go public and accuse me of sexual harassment claiming that I have created a hostile workplace environment,” the statement read. “I believe this media-driven event is part of a calculated attempt to ruin my reputation after I refused to settle these accusations in an amount she demanded. Like many others, I would have preferred resolving things quietly, even though I engaged in no actionable conduct.”

“The women who are accusing me remain in their jobs as well-paid television executives. Although I am far from perfect, I am confident that when the facts regarding the nature of the allegations are fully revealed, before a jury if necessary, my reputation will be restored,” the statement added.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ex-‘Home & Family’ Co-Host Mark Steines Files Lawsuit Over Hallmark Channel Exit

‘Home & Family’: Cameron Mathison to Replace Mark Steines as Hallmark Show Co-Host

Fired Hallmark Channel Host Mark Steines to Return to TV Tonight

Mark Steines Sues Hallmark Channel Owner Over ‘Home & Family’ Exit

Read on: Deadline.

Mark Steines has filed a lawsuit against Hallmark Channel owner Crown Media, four months after he was abruptly removed as co-host of the network’s flagship series Home and Family. His four-claim suit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court alle…

Why Mark Steines Is No Longer Hallmark ‘Home & Family’ Co-Host (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Hallmark Channel clarified exclusively to TheWrap on Friday that there were no complaints about Mark Steines’ behavior on or off the set of “Home & Family” before it abruptly cut ties with the veteran anchor after six years.

Mixing the #MeToo climate in Hollywood with the sudden and vague way the Crown Media cable channel announced it was severing ties with the “Entertainment Tonight” alum, some viewers wildly speculated online about possible misconduct. But there wasn’t “anything negative” behavior-wise when it came to Steines, a Hallmark Channel insider told us.

Instead, the show is just changing and going in a different direction, which is likely to include a new co-host, we’re told. Given the demographic makeup of “Home & Family” and Hallmark’s audience, as well as the daily lifestyle show’s female-skewing on-air talent pool, we would bet on a woman joining Debbie Matenopoulos.

However, no decision there has been made yet, we’re told. Stayed tuned to TheWrap (and, we suppose, “Home & Family”) on that one.

Also Read: ‘Home & Family’ Host Mark Steines Abruptly Exits Hallmark Channel

Here’s the somewhat-cryptic way we all first learned about Steines’ departure: “Today Hallmark Channel has parted ways with Mark Steines as the co-host of the network’s lifestyle series ‘Home & Family,’” a Thursday night statement read. “We are extremely grateful to Mark for his incredible work and wish him all the best success in his future endeavors.”

That email came through at 9:45 p.m. ET.

On Friday, when reached by TheWrap, a Hallmark rep added this: “Shows evolve and change all the time. Mark has been an instrumental part of ‘Home & Family’ for the past 6 years, and we are extremely grateful for his incredible work and leadership. We truly wish Mark all the best in his future endeavors.”

Steines has yet to break his silence on the separation. The journalist and actor has not responded to TheWrap’s requests for comment on his departure.

Also Read: Samantha Bee Can’t Afford to Lose Any (More) Sponsors – Just Look at Her TV Ratings

“We have a very hard announcement to deliver,” Matenopoulos closed Friday’s show. “Our dear friend, our very good friend, and my wonderful co-host for years, Mark Steines, is no longer with ‘Home & Family.’ He has been an amazing friend to all of us here at Hallmark Channel — the cast, the crew, and a wonderful friend to all of you at home as well.”

“And we are grateful to Mark,” she continued, fighting back tears. “We want to thank him from the bottom of our hearts for six of the most incredible years that he has had here hosting this incredible show that he helped build. He really did. He’s been here from the beginning and a lot of this show has Mark’s handprint on it.”

“So we support him in everything he does in the future, his future endeavors,” Matenopoulos wound down. “We will miss him dearly and we will think about him fondly and often, and we thank all of you at home for your kindness and your understanding and your support and for being part of our family everyday.”

“Home & Family” airs weekdays at 10 a.m./9c on Hallmark Channel.

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