AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan Re-Ups For Two More Years

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Josh Sapan, who has guided AMC Networks since it was a Cablevision subsidiary known as Rainbow Media a quarter-century ago, has signed a contract renewal to remain its president and CEO for two more years.

The new deal lasts through January 1, 2023, and was disclosed in an SEC filing late Friday afternoon. Sapan will earn a minimum annual base salary of $2 million and an annual target bonus of up to 200% of the base salary. He will also be eligible for grants of cash and/or equity awards worth at least $14 million.

In 2019, according to company filings last spring, Sapan earned $20.2 million, down 2% from 2018.

Chief Operating Officer Ed Carroll, like Sapan a longtime company veteran, is under contract until the end of 2021.

There is a clause enabling a decision by either Sapan or the company to transition his role to that of vice chairman in early 2022.

AMC Networks, parent of linear networks like AMC and IFC and streaming services like Shudder and Acorn TV, is in the midst of strategic transition. It recently said it plans to shed 10% of its U.S. workforce and shift its focus toward streaming, even as it continues to operate its cashflow-generating stable of linear networks.

While the company still airs a number of hit franchises headed by The Walking Dead and Killing Eve, it is joining media peers in emphasizing streaming. Unlike other media firms, however, AMC Networks is pursuing a niche-audience approach to streaming, though there is growth overall. The company signaled last month that it expects to end 2020 with between 5 million-5.5 million subscribers.

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