AMC Networks shifted two executives to give its streaming services more management attention as the company pivots its focus towards its growing direct-to-consumer businesses.
Courtney Thomasma was named general manager of AMC Plus, its commercial-free original content product, and Matt Graham was named general manager of AMC’s Sundance Now streaming service. Thomasma is assuming a new post, the Sundance Now position had been vacant.
At the same time, Blake Callaway is adding oversight of the BBC America his cable network. He continues as executive director of the IFC and Sundance TV. Thomasma had been executive director of BBC America.
Like other programmers, AMC has been building a streaming business as cord-cutting puts financial pressure on the cable TV business. During its fourth-quarter earnings call in February, AMC said it has more than 6 million subscribers to its streaming services, which are targeted to specific genres, and don’t compete with the bigger, broader services like Netflix or Disney Plus. It said it expects to have 9 million paid subscribers by year end.
Meanwhile operating income at AMC’s national cable networks fell 7.9% to $143.8 million in the fourth quarter, as revenue dropped 3% to $571.2 million.
Last year, AMC streamlined its network management and downsized its staff by 10% overall, incurring severance costs of $20 million to $30 million.
AMC said Thomasma will report to MIguel Penella, AMC Networks’ president of SVOD, who added oversight of AMC Plus last September. She has been with AMC Networks since 2013. As executive director of BBC America, she oversaw programming including Killing Eve and launched Wonderstruck, a 24-hour block of nature programming on Saturdays.
In addition to being responsible for Acorn TV, Graham will continue as general manager of Acorn TV, another AMC streaming service. He has been GM of Acorn TV since 2014. He will also report to Penella.
With his new responsibilities for BBC America, Callaway will work closely with BBC Studios. Callaway has been with AMC since 2011 and will continue to report to COO Ed Carroll.
“Courtney, Matt and Blake are accomplished leaders who have all made meaningful contributions to the success of our company, particularly through their dynamic oversight of many of our most important brands and businesses,” Carroll said. “We are pleased to recognize their contributions with these expanded roles, as we continue to reorient our company around our targeted streaming services and delivering our high-quality original content to viewers on an expanding array of platforms.”
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