Josh Sapan steps down as CEO of AMC Networks

Sapan is transitioning to executive vice chairman. Former Showtime chief Matthew Blank will serve as AMC's interim CEO as company conducts search for Sapan's successor.

August 24, 2021

3 Min Read

NEW YORK – AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX) today announced that following a successful 26-year tenure as president and chief executive officer Josh Sapan has notified the company of his desire to transition to executive vice chairman. To help ensure an orderly transition, the company also announced that seasoned media executive Matthew Blank will serve as interim chief executive officer while the company conducts a search for a replacement.

Over more than three decades, Mr. Sapan grew AMC Networks into a dynamic global entertainment company known for celebrated and groundbreaking original content, such as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, and an unrivaled portfolio of brands, among them AMC, BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv and IFC Films. In his new role as executive vice chairman, Mr. Sapan will continue to assist in setting AMC Networks' corporate and creative direction and work closely with the company's leadership to support the overall advancement of the company, particularly as it continues to grow its targeted streaming business, led by its streaming offerings which include AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK.

Mr. Blank joins AMC Networks following more than 40 years of leadership positions in the media industry, including 20 years as chairman and chief executive officer of Showtime Networks, where he also served as president and chief operating officer. While at Showtime, Mr. Blank played a key role in helping the company expand beyond the traditional pay TV model with the successful launch of Showtime's standalone streaming service. Mr. Blank also spent more than a decade at Home Box Office, Inc., departing as senior vice president, consumer marketing. As interim chief executive officer, Mr. Blank will utilize his expertise and work with AMC Networks' leadership, including Mr. Sapan, to maximize the company's streaming business, while building on its core assets.

Mr. 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 Corporation. During his tenure, he reshaped the company, evolving it from a collection of U.S. cable channels showcasing classic movies to what is today a global entertainment company known for bold, prestige original drama, and more recently, for its portfolio of fast-growing targeted streaming services.

At Showtime Networks, Mr. Blank was instrumental in Showtime's launch of a standalone streaming service, as well as its early adoption of critical digital technologies that have enhanced the user experience, such as high-definition video and subscription video on demand (SVOD). Mr. Blank's tenure included numerous award-winning original programs, including Homeland, Ray Donovan, Shameless, Billions, Dexter, Weeds and The Circus, as well as decades of Showtime Championship Boxing featuring Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Floyd Mayweather and dozens of other boxing greats.

Mr. Blank served on the Board of Directors of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) for nearly 25 years and remains on the board of The Cable Center. In 2013, he was honored by the Center for Communication with the Dr. Frank Stanton Award for Excellence in Communications. He was inducted into Broadcasting and Cable magazine's Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Cable Center Hall of Fame in 2009. He has received numerous industry awards, including the NCTA's Vanguard awards for Marketing, Programming, and the industry's top honor, the Vanguard Award for Leadership in 2008.

Mr. Blank currently serves as a director for Cumulus Media and CuriosityStream. In accepting his new interim position at AMC Networks, Mr. Blank has also resigned from the board of directors for MSG Entertainment. Mr. Blank is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and holds an MBA from Baruch College.

Read the full announcement here.

AMC Networks

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