CuriosityStream, the documentary-focused subscription streaming service created by Discovery Inc. founder John Hendricks, said it has named former Showtime chairman and CEO Matt Blank to its board of directors.
CuriosityStream is set to go public in the fourth quarter, after its deal to merge with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Software Acquisition Group, closes. The SAG deal is valued at about $331 million.
Blank was chairman and CEO of Showtime for 20 years, stepping down in 2017. During his run the premium network launched such iconic series as Dexter, Ray Donovan, Homeland and Weeds.
“Matt Blank brings an extraordinary wealth of stunningly successful media experience to the CuriosityStream board of directors,” Hendricks said in a press release. “When Matt took the helm at Showtime, I watched in admiration as he built the pay service over two decades into a leading world force in premium programming with an incredible roster of valuable mega-hits and brand-defining series. All of us at CuriosityStream welcome Matt’s role on our board of directors, where he’ll provide skillful guidance and wise advice in our mission to deliver the absolute best in premium factual entertainment.”
In addition to Blank, the CuriosityStream board consists of Hendricks; Elizabeth Hendricks; president and CEO Clint Stinchcomb; Stifel, Nicolaus vice chairman investment banking Patrick Keeley; Software Acquisition Group chairman and CEO Jonathan Huberman; and Software Acquisition Group VP of acquisitions and director Mike Nikzad.
“Matt was an early champion of the rich global opportunity in streaming blue-chip content to consumers both directly and with distribution partners of scale,” Stinchcomb said in a press release. “I couldn’t be more delighted that Matt has agreed to join our board. As we grow organically and through opportunistic acquisition, Matt’s strategic guidance will be invaluable.”
In addition to his 20 years as Showtime’s chairman, Blank also served as president, chief operating officer and EVP of marketing at the premium network. Before that, he worked at HBO for 12 years in several roles, including SVP of consumer marketing.
"I’ve known John Hendricks for over 30 years and he is truly one of the great media entrepreneurs of our time,” Blank said in a press release. “There is such incredible opportunity for growth in the industry right now and I’m thrilled to join with John and his top-notch team at CuriosityStream to deliver on his core vision to share the best factual entertainment with viewers around the globe.”
Blank currently sits on the board of Cumulus Media, as well as Madison Square Garden Entertainment, and The Cable Center. He also served on the board of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) for nearly 25 years. He has been inducted into the Cable Television and the Broadcasting and Cable Halls of Fame.
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.