Surrounded by members of the talk show’s team, host Debbie Matenopoulos fought back tears as she spoke directly to the viewers about Steines’ somewhat mysterious exit.
“I’m here to share some news, and the family has joined me because we truly are a family, and while we just had a really great show, we have a very hard announcement to deliver,” Matenopoulos began. “Our dear friend, our very good friend, and my wonderful co-host for years, Mr. Mark Steines, is no longer with Home & Family.”
Though her vague speech provided no details about why Steines was released from the program, Matenopoulos spoke highly of her former co-host.
“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 continued. “We are grateful to Mark, and 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’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. We will miss him dearly, and we will think about him fondly — and often — and we thank you all at home for your kindness and understanding and your support and for being part of our family everyday.”
Despite the show’s praise quoted above, a statement from Steines to People paints a very different picture of the events surrounding his firing:
Hallmark gave us some vague reasons regarding creative’ and specifically said it was not for cause. We have received nothing but positive reviews of him as the host of Hallmark Home & Family. The show just received another Emmy nomination — that was the third. We know ratings have been up, and if you watch the episode this morning, you will see the shock and sadness by the cast when they had to make this announcement on air.
News of Steines’ exit was first tweeted out by the network late Thursday night:
Click here to watch video of Home & Family‘s announcement, then drop a comment with your thoughts below.