Exclusive: HBO Sports Poaches Ken Hershman From Showtime

Showtime Thursday confirmed that sports chief Ken Hershman has left the company, and will join HBO as president of HBO Sports beginning in Jan. 2012, replacing Ross Greenburg.

"Richard [Plepler, HBO co-president] and I believe that Ken is a perfect fit for HBO Sports," said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming, who made the announcement. "He has a deep and thorough understanding of the sport of boxing and that background will be invaluable as he transitions to his role at HBO. Ken has demonstrated a capacity to think outside the box, and the combination of his experience and reputation make him the ideal executive addition to HBO's already stellar sports department."

Hershman served as executive VP and general manager of Showtime's sports and events programming since 2003. His time at the network dates back to 1992. A Showtime spokesperson released the following statement to B&C:
"Sports has been an important part of our content lineup at Showtime
for many years.  We have a great team and great programming in place and
our commitment to sports remains strong.  We have no announcement about
a successor at this time, when we do we will let everyone know."

Hershman added: "Working at Showtime was an amazing experience, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have developed countless friendships and relationships across the organization. While I am sure that I will miss them all, I am excited by the opportunity to join the team at HBO and contribute to one of television's most dynamic companies."

Hershman officially starts at HBO on Jan. 9, 2012.

Greenburg left HBO sports back in July, after 33 years at the network. He had been head of the division since Sept. 2000.