AMC Networks CEO Christina Spade exits after three months

AMC Networks CEO Christina Spade has stepped down from her role, less than three months after she took the helm of the media company.

Spade, a former ViacomCBS executive, first joined AMC in early 2021 and before becoming CEO earlier this year served as finance chief and COO at the company.

AMC, which did not give a reason for Spade’s exit, said the board of directors is currently finalizing who they will name as her replacement, with an announcement to follow.

“We thank Christina for her contributions to the company in her CEO role and her earlier CFO role, and we wish her well in her future endeavors,” said AMC Networks Chairman James Dolan in a statement.

Spade will get severance benefits in accordance with her employment contract on a termination without cause or resignation for good reason basis, AMC said in an SEC filing.

It’s the latest change for the chief executive spot at AMC. Spade's employment agreement is dated August 4 (per the SEC filling) and she officially stepped into the CEO role in early September, taking over from interim CEO Matt Blank, who held the position for about a year following an exit from long-time chief executive Josh Sapan in August 2021.

The leadership exit comes after AMC Networks in the third quarter saw subscriptions to AMC+ and other streaming services grow to 11.1 million, up 44% from the year prior and helping to drive 8% year over year subscription revenue growth. However, the media entertainment company saw net revenue drop 16% to $682 million in Q3, driven by content licensing revenues and lower affiliate and advertising revenue.

AMC has been looking to build up new and existing franchises in an effort to capture success seen with its popular “The Walking Dead” series, which just wrapped up its final season on November 20. AMC is developing three new spin-off series and continues to air “Fear the Walking Dead” prequel. It’s also working to create an Anne Rice Immortal Universe franchise, starting with “Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire,” which debuted on October 2 and ranked as “the most successful launch in the history of AMC+,” Spade said during quarterly earnings in early November.

At the time, Spade discussed AMC strategically prioritizing content ownerships, particularly for franchises, as providing optionality to window content across its own platforms and to license to third parties.

The company has waded into the free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) space as well. In November it reached a deal with Roku to create and program 11 FAST channels for The Roku Channel, including one exclusive that features hit dramas such as “Mad Men.”