As chatter about a pending merger between Starz and Lionsgate intensifiesStarz has locked in its top executive for the foreseeable future. The pay cable network has extended the contract of CEO Chris Albrecht; his new employment agreement starts July 1, 2016 and goes through 2020. As part of the new contract, Albrecht will add the role of President to his current position as CEO.

Starz featured image

“Chris has developed Starz into a leading, innovative entertainment brand with award-winning original programing that resonates with U.S. and international audiences,” said Greg Maffei, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Starz. He has made remarkable contributions to the business over the past six years, and we look forward to his vision creating even more value for distributors, partners and shareholders.”

Once a distant third premium cable network and almost an afterthought  in the original series arena, Starz under former HBO boss Albrecht has made inroads with several viable original scripted shows, including Outlander, Black Sails, Ash vs Evil Dead, Survivor’s Remorse and Power. 

“We have a tremendous runway for growth,” said Albrecht, who has been running Starz since joining the company in 2010 . “I am more enthusiastic than ever about our strong and resilient subscription-based business model and commitment to make STARZ an innovative global brand with an eye to the future.”

At Starz, Albrecht oversees Starz Networks, Starz Distribution, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Starz Worldwide Distribution and Starz Digital Media.  A Form 8-K summarizing his new agreement has been filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.