If you can sell Time Warner Cable, then you should be able to sell just about anything — right? Starz is about to find out: It just hired TWC’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jeffrey Hirsch, for a new job as President of Global Marketing and Product Planning. He’ll move to Beverly Hills and report to Starz CEO Chris Albrecht.
The exec will manage new products and services, boost awareness of Starz’ original programming, and help with strategy and distribution. Many analysts believe that the premium cable programmer will launch a stand-alone streaming service in the U.S., similar to ones recently introduced by HBO and Showtime.
“Jeff’s experience as a successful cable operator with one of our largest distributors, and his talents in marketing, product development and planning, sales, and operations, make him a great addition to our executive ranks,” Albrecht says.
Hirsch leaves TWC as it prepares to be acquired by Charter Communications.
It’s an interesting time for Starz: Its stock is up nearly 55% so far in 2015 as investors anticipate a hook-up with Lionsgate. Starz’ largest shareholder, Liberty Media’s John Malone, has spoken openly of the possibility after he made a stock swap with the studio and joined its board.
While investors look for a deal, Albrecht says he remains focused on boosting Starz’ original programming. The slate includes Power, Black Sails, American Gods, Blunt Talk, Spartacus, and DaVinci’s Demons.
At TWC, Hirsch was in charge of selling the cable service to its residential customers. Before taking that on in 2011, he helped to develop the cable company’s iPad app and was President for Residential Services in New York City, Los Angeles, and Rochester. He also worked at NYNEX and McCann-Erickson.
“The opportunity to become a key member of the Starz executive team and join a programming company whose prospects are rising both in the U.S. and overseas in an exciting new role is a tremendous opportunity,” he says.