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AMC Networks Names James Dolan Interim Executive Chairman

AMC Networks, whose CEO Christina Spade resigned last week, said Monday its board has named James Dolan “interim executive chairman.”

“Effective immediately, Mr. Dolan will serve as Interim Executive Chairman which will enable him to provide strategic oversight of the company until a new CEO is named,” AMC said in an SEC filing.

“AMC Networks has a seasoned executive leadership team and I look forward to working with them to provide high-level strategic direction and guidance as we navigate the business during this period of transformation in the media industry,” said Dolan.

He’ll remain in the position until the earlier of the board of directors appointing a new chief executive officer, or March 6, 2023.

As Spade left — after only three months in the top job — Dolan announced a wave of layoffs and plans to restructure and cut costs across divisions as the company faces down financial headwinds. Streaming growth has not keep pace with cord cutting, he said. AMC is letting go 20% of its U.S. workforce, or about 200 people. It also announced restructuring charges of up to $475 million, hefty for a company of its size, for write-downs in content, severance and other reorganization costs. Up to $400 million of that is for content-related moves the company called “strategic programming assessments”

Programming casualties include the second season of Moonhaven at AMC+, which was canceled four months after the dystonic sci-fi series was renewed. 

High profile executive departures include e David Stefanou, SVP Original Programming & Development for WE tv, and Marco Bresaz, SVP of non-fiction & alternative programming for AMC and SundanceTV.

Spade, who had been CFO before moving to the top job, replaced interim CEO Matt Blank. The former Showtime boss had stepped in for longtime chief Josh Sapan, who left the role in September of 2021 after 26 years at the helm of AMC.

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