Improved advertising revenues contributed to Crown Media Holdings Inc. to report positive earnings in the first quarter compared to a net loss from a year ago.

The Studio City-based owner of the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel reported net income of $64 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, for the quarter ending March 31. For the same period in 2010, the company had a net loss of $2.3 million, or $0.02 per diluted share.

Total revenues increased to $73.6 million in the first quarter from the $68.4 million a year ago.

Advertising revenues for the quarter were $55.6 million, an 8 ½ percent increase over the revenues of $51.2 million from a year ago.

Additions to the programming slat, including classic series and original shows for the Hallmark Channel daytime lifestyle block contributed to getting the year off to a solid start, said Crown Media President and CEO Bill Abbott.

“In the year ahead we will fully develop our channels for their maximum value with our most robust offering of original movie premieres and several new lifestyle shows,” Abbott said.

Mark R. Madler