Veteran Showtime Sports Executive Jumps to HBO
Ken Hershman will lead HBO's boxing franchise, which has already brought Manny Pacquiao back to the network after losing the Pacquiao-Shane Mosely fight to Showtime.
HBO Sports has poached veteran Showtime Sports executive Ken Hershman, who led the network’s successful boxing franchise.
Hershman – who has overseen Showtime Sports since 2003 and joined the network in 1992 in the legal department – has been named President, HBO Sports. He’ll be responsible for the premium network’s boxing programming and pay-per-view events as well as Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, the 24/7 boxing franchise, the Legends & Legacies documentary unit and NFL reality series Hard Knocks. Hershman will assume his position in January and report to Michael Lombardo, President, HBO Programming.
In a statement, Lombardo noted Hershman’s “deep and thorough understanding of the sport of boxing” and “demonstrated…capacity to think outside the box.”
Hershman replaces longtime HBO Sports executive Ross Greenberg, who spent 33 years at HBO and ten years as president of the sports division. Greenberg vacated the post this past July after losing last May’s Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosely fight to Showtime. Pacquiao will be back at HBO for his November pay-per-view fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pay-per-view boxing is critical to sports divisions at both HBO and Showtime. And under Hershman's leadership, Showtime was increasingly challenging HBO's dominance in the ring. At HBO Sports, Hershman will be responsible for an annual boxing budget of $35 million, the richest in the industry, according to ESPN.com.
A Showtime spokesperson said there would be no immediate announcement regarding Hershman's replacement.