The Hallmark Channel’s popular daily lifestyle talk show, Home & Family, is down one co-host as the network suddenly announced it has “parted ways” with Mark Steines.
“We are extremely grateful to Mark for his incredible work and wish him all the best success in his future endeavors,” Hallmark said in a post on the network’s official Facebook page.
This announcement was abruptly made, shocking and saddening many fans of the show.
Home & Family began airing weekday mornings on the Hallmark Channel in 2012. Steines had been with the series since the beginning with a rotating cast of female co-hosts. First it was Paige Davis of Trading Spaces fame, then Cristina Ferrare, who also left the show under mysterious circumstances. Debbie Matenopoulos had been by his side since 2016. Will she now be the show’s sole host, or will another co-host be joining her?
According to People, Steines’ rep said he worked Wednesday without any indication that it would be his last day on set.
“Hallmark gave us some vague reasons regarding ‘creative,’ and specifically said it was not for cause,” the rep told the magazine. “We have received nothing but positive reviews of him as the host of Home & Family. The show just received another Emmy nomination — that was the third. We know ratings have been up.”
Some people jumped to conclusions and wondered if his exit had anything to do with the “MeToo” movement. However, a show insider told The Wrap that his behavior had always been professional.
Now in its sixth season, Home & Family is reportedly just going in a new direction — one that simply does not include Steines.
“Shows evolve and change all the time,” a Hallmark rep told The Wrap.
Matenopoulos closed today’s program by talking about Steines’ departure. She called him “my wonderful co-host for years.”
“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,” she added.
Fighting back tears, she concluded her speech.
“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 every day,” she said.
Prior to joining the Hallmark Channel, Steines spent more than 10 years as a correspondent and anchor for Entertainment Tonight. The 53-year-old wed children’s book author Julie Freyermuth in August, 2016, after initially meeting her when she was a guest on Home & Family. They have a daughter, Parker Rose, who will turn one in July. He also has two sons from a prior marriage.