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AMC Networks appoints Kristin Dolan as new CEO

AMC Networks, the company behind cable networks like AMC, IFC and Sundance TV, as well as streaming services like AMC+, Acorn TV and Shudder, has named Kristin Dolan as its new CEO. The executive succeeds Christina Spade.

“It’s a privilege to be part of a company with a long tradition of engaging audiences with outstanding stories and world-class brands,” said Kirstin Dolan. “It is also where I started my career in the industry. I look forward to using my breadth of experience – in programming, cable operations and most recently using data to reshape television advertising – to leverage the strengths of AMC Networks, the next phase of AMC’s growth. to drive the company and build shareholder value over the next year.”

James L. Dolan, interim exec chairman of AMC Networks, said, “With her considerable experience and knowledge of the company, Kristin is the ideal person to lead AMC Networks into the next chapter as we navigate this transformative period in the industry. .”

On November 29, the company made the surprise announcement that Spade has “resigned her role” without giving any details as to why. The news came as a shock, as she had only taken over the top role on September 9.

Later that day, AMC Networks chairman James Dolan sent a memo to staff, predicting “a massive layoff and budget cuts in every area of ​​operations.” He explained: “We believed that cable cutting losses would be offset by gains in streaming. This has not been the case.” Reports estimate that up to 20 percent of the workforce could be affected by job losses.

Spade previously served as CFO of AMC Networks since 2021 and later added the title of chief operating officer. Prior to that, she held senior roles at ViacomCBS (now known as Paramount Global), CBS Corp. and Showtime.

In August, AMC Networks had revealed her as the successor to interim CEO Matt Blank, a former CEO of Showtime Networks. Blank replaced longtime boss Josh Sapan, who had announced in August 2021 that he would change to the role of executive vice chairman after 26 years.

Spade’s employment contract would run until the end of 2025. That’s what a source recently said THR that Dolan was concerned about the state of the media and entertainment business and got into an altercation with Spade and intervened.

AMC Networks is often seen as a takeover target for entertainment or technology giants, due to its relative lack of scale, while management has argued that the company has done well by focusing on niche streaming services, often emphasizing the benefits of going it alone as a more focused company.

Alex Weprin contributed to this report.

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