Josh Sapan, chief executive of AMC Networks since 1995, is stepping down to become executive chairman of the board. Former Showtime CEO Matthew Blank has been named interim CEO. The moves are effective Sept. 8. In addition, Michael Sherin was promoted to EVP and chief accounting officer, effective Aug. 24.
Blank worked at ViacomCBS’s premium network Showtime in various executive positions from 1995 to 2018.
In his new role, Sapan will continue to assist in setting AMC’s corporate and creative direction and work closely with senior management 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 (formerly Urban Movie Channel).
During Sapan’s tenure, AMC became a standalone media company scoring huge hits with “The Walking Dead” and “Better Call Saul.” In 2018, Sapan orchestrated the $60 million acquisition of home entertainment distributor RLJ Entertainment. That deal secured AMC ownership of streaming platforms Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel, among other assets.
“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,” James Dolan, AMC Chairman, said in a statement. “We are grateful for his vision, creativity and management expertise and look forward to his continued contributions as executive vice chairman.”