Longtime Epix president and CEO Mark Greenberg is set to exit the premium network, where he has been atop the company since its launch. The move comes after MGM completed its nearly $1 billion buyout of Epix, which was formed in 2008 as a venture of MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount.
MGM chief Gary Barber announced the news to staff in a memo this morning (read it below). Greenberg had inked a new contract in November 2016 but said today was the “right time to leave” following the MGM integration.
“Founding Epix and building it over the past nine years into a thriving and successful business has been one of the great accomplishments of my professional life,” Greenberg said in a statement, which also touted MGM boss Gary Barber. “With the completion of the integration of Epix into MGM, I have decided that I am ready to move on to other interesting and exciting opportunities in the media and entertainment industry that will allow me to tap into my entrepreneurial spirit and build on my experience at Epix. While this is a difficult personal decision, I know that now is the right time to leave.”
EVP Programming, Strategy and Enterprises Monty Sarhan will run Epix on an interim basis. He will report to Barber, and get help on the MGM side from Chris Ottinger, President, Worldwide Television Distribution & Acquisitions, and CFO Ken Kay.
Variety first reported the news of Greenberg’s exit.
In April, MGM agreed to pay $1.03 billion for Viacom’s 49.8% interest and Lionsgate’s 31.2% of the premium network business. Barber said during MGM’s Q1 earnings call in May right after the Eix deal that he sees an additional “value creation opportunity” by expanding the number of original programs on the network, whose series already include Berlin Station, Graves and Get Shorty. He added that the company expects to invest “additional capital” to expand the slate which is expected to “drive meaningful long-term growth.”
Here’s Barber’s memo today:
When we announced our acquisition of EPIX earlier this year, we expressed our excitement about adding the fastest growing premium pay TV network to the MGM family of properties.
As we have completed the integration of EPIX into MGM, Mark Greenberg, the founding CEO of EPIX, has decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities in the media and entertainment industry.
Mark has been a driving force behind the success of the company and a pioneer in TV Everywhere, leading EPIX to become the first cross platform network and overseeing its programming expansion into original scripted series.
In the interim, EPIX will be managed by Monty Sarhan, Executive Vice President, Programming, Strategy & Enterprises and its talented operating team that is already in place. He will report to me for the time being with help and assistance from MGM’s senior management team including Chris Ottinger, President, Worldwide Television Distribution & Acquisitions and Ken Kay, Chief Financial Officer.
In closing, I want to thank Mark for building and leading the business over the last nine years. His dedication and commitment to the company during this integration process has been greatly appreciated. We wish him all the best in his endeavors.
We are confident in the future of EPIX and look forward to making significant investments in premium content to further the company’s growth and success.