Please wait...
Please wait...

Josh Sapan to step down as AMC Networks president and CEO after 26 years

AMC Networks president and CEO Josh Sapan is stepping down after 26 years atop the US entertainment company to become its executive vice chairman, with former Showtime boss Matthew Blank becoming interim CEO.

Josh Sapan

Blank will take the reins while the company searches for a replacement for Sapan, who asked to move to the executive vice chairman role, according to AMC Networks.

Over more than three decades, Sapan has grown AMC Networks into an international entertainment company, with hits such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead on cablenet AMC.

Its other brands include BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv and IFC Films, while its streaming offer has grown in recent years with services including AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK.

Sapan became president and CEO of AMC Networks in 1995, when the company was known as Rainbow Media and was a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems.

During his tenure, he shifted the company from being a collection of US cable channels showcasing classic movies to one that focuses on prestige original drama and, more recently, streaming services.

In his new role as executive vice chairman, Sapan will continue to assist in setting AMC Networks’ corporate and creative direction and work with the company’s leadership.

Blank joins AMC Networks following more than 40 years of leadership positions in the media industry, including 20 years as chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks, where he also served as president and chief operating officer.

While at Showtime, Blank played a key role in helping the company expand beyond the traditional pay TV model with the launch of Showtime’s standalone streaming service.

Matt Blank

Blank also spent more than a decade at HBO, ending his time there as senior VP of consumer marketing.

As interim CEO, Blank will use his expertise and work with AMC Networks’ leadership, including Sapan, to maximise the company’s streaming business, while building on its core assets, the company said.

AMC Networks chairman James Dolan said: “Over his long career, Josh’s leadership ensured AMC Networks became a force in entertainment, with far-reaching influence throughout the industry, and home to some of the most successful and innovative shows in the history of television. We are grateful for his vision, creativity and management expertise and look forward to his continued contributions as executive vice chairman.”

Dolan added: “We are also delighted to have Matt help us through this transition. His wealth of media experience will prove valuable as he works with Josh and the AMC Networks team to support the company’s continued success.”

Sapan said: “This has been the greatest career I could have ever imagined, and I am enormously proud of all that we have accomplished. I am deeply grateful to Charles and Jim Dolan for allowing me this spectacular opportunity.

“There has perhaps been no more exciting time for the company than right now and, as executive vice chairman, I look forward to continuing to work with the outstanding team at AMC Networks, as well as Matt, my great colleague and friend, to focus on how we maximise our unique content to accelerate our streaming goals.”


Please wait...