Christina Spade Abruptly Exits as AMC Networks CEO After Less Than 3 Months

AMC Networks on Tuesday said CEO Christina Spade stepped down from the role she took on in early September.

No reason was given for her departure, but a regulatory filing suggested it was not for cause. The company said in the filing that the board of directors is “in the process of determining who it will name as the successor CEO.”

The television and streaming company’s new leader will be its fourth in two years.

Spade took the helm on Sept. 9, from her former position as chief financial officer, which she held for two years, overseeing the network’s key businesses, financial operations and investor relations and global technology. An industry veteran, she joined AMC from ViacomCBS, where she was CFO, and previously served as the CFO of CBS Corp.

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She succeeded Matt Blank, who was kept on in a consultant role through the end of the year. Blank, the former chairman of Showtime Networks, had served as interim CEO from September 2021.

He took over for longtime boss Josh Sapan, who transitioned to become executive vice chairman. Sapan led the company for 26 years, and spearheaded its expansion from a classic film-focused cable network into the creator of hits like “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead.”

When he exited the CEO role, there were rumors the company could be an acquisition target.

“We thank Christina for her contributions to the company in her CEO role and her earlier CFO role, and we wish her well in her future endeavors,” Board Chairman James Dolan said in a statement.

The unexpected departure followed mixed results in the third quarter. The company reported earlier this month 44% growth in streaming subscribers but saw revenue drop, reflecting the broader industry advertising slump.

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At the time, Spade said that AMC Networks was seeing “positive momentum” as it transformed to a “multi-platform premium content company.” It aimed to more than double its streaming subscribers to 25 million by the end of 2025 from 11.1 million at Sept. 30.

AMC Networks said in the regulatory filing that Spade would receive the severance benefits detailed in her three-year employment agreement, which was signed Aug. 4. The filing said she would receive her benefits as described for either being terminated on a without-cause basis or resigning on a for-good-reason basis.

Spade is set to receive a severance payment of more than $10 million, The Wall Street Journal reported, in addition to benefits associated with restricted stock units and other awards, citing the terms outlined in the employment agreement.

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