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Released December 13, 2004

MEDIA EXECUTIVE AND SOUTHERN MISS GRAD LOESCH
TO ADDRESS GRADUATES AT FALL 2004 COMMENCEMENT

HATTIESBURG - Margaret Loesch, a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi who has made her mark in the media and entertainment industries, will serve as fall 2004 commencement speaker at Southern Miss Dec. 17. Graduation ceremonies will be held at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. at Reed Green Coliseum on the university's Hattiesburg campus.

Loesch, a four-time Emmy Award winner, was founding president and CEO of Fox Kids Networks, serving in that capacity from 1990-1997. Loesch built Fox Kids into the number one children's television service in the country, and launched Fox Kids in Australia, Latin America and the United Kingdom. Prior to her tenure with Fox Kids, she was president and CEO of Marvel Productions, the film entertainment subsidiary of Marvel Comics from 1984-1990 and executive vice president of Hanna-Barbera Productions, where she supervised the development of more than 30 television series.

"We're pleased to have a real Southern Miss success story, Margaret Loesch, address our graduates," said university president Dr. Shelby Thames.

From 1998-2001, Loesch was founding president and CEO of Crown Media United States and its U.S. Hallmark Channel and also worldwide president of the Jim Henson Television Group. In 1998 she took over the rebuilding task of managing the Odyssey Channel, which was purchased by the Jim Henson Company and Hallmark Entertainment in late 1998, and was credited with reviving the channel and providing the framework and secure foundation for the channel's successor, the Hallmark Channel, which Loesch launched in August 2001.

In 2003, she co-founded The Hatchery, a company formed to build intellectual properties in the family and children's entertainment industry.

Loesch began her television career in the film department of ABC in 1971, and later became director of children's programs at NBC from 1975-1979. Among her other honors, she is a recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award, and holds the prestigious Chair Award from the Caucus for Television Producers, Writers and Directors. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Southern Miss.

"We are pleased one of our graduates has had such an illustrious career, and we look forward to her address to our graduates at commencement," said Dr. Allan McBride, chair of the Southern Miss Department of Political Science.

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January 19, 2005 3:36 PM