Hallmark Channel owner Crown Media Holdings says it has reached an agreement with the National Interfaith Cable Coalition (NICC) to settle claims relating to NICC’s equity interest in Crown Media. NICC has relinquished its right to force Crown Media to buy back 4.3 million shares of its stock held by NICC as well as its right to name a director to the Crown Media board. The settlement was announced as a long-running programming deal with NICC expired with the beginning of the New Year. The Hallmark Channel no longer carries the one hour Monday-Friday Faith & Values program “New Morning” and has cut from six hours to two the Sunday morning block of Faith & Values programming produced by NICC. So, while NICC will still have programming time on the Hallmark Channel, that has been reduced from 11 hours weekly to two.