Former Showtime Exec Greenberg To Head New Premium Channel: Report

Ex-Showtime official Mark Greenberg is poised to become the top executive of the new premium channel that will be launched by Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM. reports that Greenberg, a longtime Showtime official, whose duties included working in marketing, affiliates sales and in the premium channel’s boxing department, is expected to be named CEO of the service, which is set to launch in fall 2009.

Viacom, is the lead investor in the joint venture, which will showcase theatricals from the three studios in the pay TV window and also will feature an as yet-unspecified digital component(s).Viacom's  MTV Networks will provide marketing and affiliates support for the fledgling service.

Viacom vice president of corporate communications Kelly McAndrew neither confirmed nor denied Greenberg’s candidacy, saying: “We have not announced management.”   

Greenberg, an executive vice president at the time, left Showtime in March 2006 to pursue other interests. He had been instrumental in developing the network’s premium and pay-per-view boxing business, which thrived during former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson’s heyday. reports that Greenberg, who has subsequently worked as a consultant, most recently for Blockbuster, was forced out in a dispute with Showtime Networks Inc. CEO Matthew Blank.

Greenberg could not be immediately reached for comment.

Paramount had an output deal through 2007 with Showtime, which like the studio was a Viacom unit until the premium channel became part of CBS Corp., when that company headed by Les Moonves split off early in 2006. Lionsgate and MGM have output deals that expire with Showtime at year-end.