AMC Networks CEO steps down, former Showtime CEO steps up

AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan is stepping down after a 26-year tenure to transition to the executive vice chairman role.

Matthew Blank, who previously spent 20 years as chairman and CEO at Showtime, will serve as interim CEO while AMC searches for a permanent replacement.

“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,” said AMC Networks Chairman James Dolan in a statement. “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.”

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Sapan is leaving the chief executive job at AMC Networks after helping the company pivot toward a heavier focus on its streaming services including AMC+, Shudder and Acorn TV.

For the most recent quarter, AMC Networks didn’t provide specific subscriber growth totals but confirmed that it’s still on track for at least 9 million subscribers by the end of 2021. That’s across AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK. The company also confirmed its longer-term guidance of 20 million to 25 million total subscribers by 2025. AMC Networks ended 2020 with more than 6 million streaming subscribers combined.

AMC Networks’ subscription revenues increased 21% during the second quarter thanks to growth in streaming revenues attributed to increased paid streaming subscribers. The company’s second-quarter advertising revenues increased 13% to $212 million thanks in part to ad-supported streaming growth through content partnerships with Pluto TV, Samsung TV+ and others.