AMC Networks Ups Christina Spade to CEO, Names Patrick O’Connell CFO

AMC Networks Aug. 5 announced that chief operating officer and chief financial officer Christina Spade will be the company’s next chief executive officer, effective  Sept. 9.

Christina Spade

Spade, a media and entertainment industry veteran who previously held senior roles at ViacomCBS, CBS Corporation and Showtime, will succeed Matt Blank, who has been serving in a year-long role as interim CEO of AMC Networks since last September.

Patrick O’Connell, previously a senior executive at CBS Corporation and Goldman Sachs, has been named the company’s CFO and will report to Spade.

AMC Networks Chairman James Dolan, who thanked Blank for his year-long leadership, said Spade is a “proven leader” with a long track record driving transformative change in media and entertainment.

“I am confident she has the expertise and vision to guide AMC Networks to greater success,” Dolan said in a statement.

The executive appointments come as AMC Networks continues to pursue a streaming strategy targeting distinct audiences. Its streaming portfolio includes AMC+ and targeted platforms Acorn TV, ALLBLK, HIDIVE, Shudder and Sundance Now, and now reaches 10.8 million paying subscribers in aggregate through the second quarter (ended June 30) and is on track to reach 20-25 million subs in 2025.

Patrick O’Connell

AMC’s streaming platforms reached a combined 9.5 million subscribers in the previous-year period

The company is in the midst of a big original programming push, continuing its track record of creating popular and acclaimed content, including the Emmy Award-nominated “Better Call Saul,” new series “Moonhaven,” “Dark Winds” and “This is Going to Hurt,” and the upcoming debut of its next big franchise with “Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire,” driving growth across its streaming portfolio and linear business.

Spade joined AMC Networks as CFO in January 2021 and was soon promoted to a new dual role of COO and CFO in November 2021. In this role she oversaw AMC Networks’ businesses, financial operations as well as investor relations and global technology.

O’Connell joins AMC Networks from BRANDED, a consumer e-commerce company where he led strategic planning, financing and acquisitions.

Prior to joining BRANDED, O’Connell was head of corporate development at CBS Corporation, where he was responsible for firm-wide strategy, financial forecasting, capital allocation and mergers and acquisitions. At CBS he led highly complex transactions, including the merger between CBS and Viacom and the divestiture of CBS Radio.