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AMC Networks said on Tuesday that COO Ed Carroll would leave his post at the end of the year, ending a 34-year tenure with the company behind such cable channel brands as The Walking Dead home AMC and streaming services such as AMC+, Acorn TV and Shudder.
His departure at the end of his current employment contract term follows the August news that his longtime boss Josh Sapan was exiting as president and CEO after 26 years to become executive vice chairman. Former Showtime Networks CEO Matthew Blank took over as interim CEO while the company searches for a full-time successor.
In another sign that the company is assessing future steps, AMC Networks didn’t say if it would look to hire a replacement for Carroll.
Some Wall Street analysts have wondered if an often-suggested potential sale of AMC Networks could materialize as the company searches for permanent CEO or if the Dolan family that controls the firm could decide to take it private. The company didn’t comment on such chatter on Tuesday. Some observers have also suggested that AMC Networks could look to hire a CEO with a digital media or technology background to further accelerate its streaming push.
“For decades, Ed has been the heart and soul of AMC Networks,” Sapan highlighted. “He has been at the center of the shows and movies that brought success to the company, and at the center of what has made AMC Networks a great place to work. In a business where credit for achievement can be actively sought, Ed looked for none, choosing to make all around him look good. His kind is rare.”
Blank said: “I’ve appreciated all of Ed’s efforts to help ensure a smooth transition as I’ve taken on a new interim role with the company. His long history building AMC Networks’ strong brands and powerful original content slate is now paving the way for the company’s ongoing pivot to being the worldwide leader in targeted streaming.”
Carroll, 58, didn’t immediately say what may be next for him. “It has been a great ride and extremely satisfying to work with an extraordinary team to create TV shows with impact and, most recently, to successfully bring to market a new streaming platform with AMC+,” he said, before quipping: “Among the things I am most proud of is greenlighting Breaking Bad and Mad Men, including teaching Bryan Cranston how to act and Jon Hamm how to look good in front of a camera.”
AMC Networks, controlled by the Dolan family, became a separate stock-market listed company in July 2011 after its spin-off from cable operator Cablevision Systems, which the Dolans sold to Altice in 2015. Before the spin, it was called Rainbow Media Holdings.
Carroll was named COO in 2009. AMC Networks said on Tuesday said he was “instrumental in helping transform the company into an original programming powerhouse, with popular and brand defining original series,” including AMC’s Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead, and IFC’s Portlandia. “He helped lead the creation of AMC Studios, enabling the company to produce and distribute owned, world-class original content,” including programming in its Anne Rice universe, with an upcoming Interview with the Vampire series slated for a 2022 premiere.
Abroad, Carroll spearheaded AMC Networks’ expansion across Europe and Latin America and oversaw its international channels operations.
Most recently, he oversaw the company’s targeted streaming services Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK, as well as the launch of premium streaming bundle AMC+.
Previously, the executive was general manager of Bravo when it was part of Rainbow Media. In that role, Carroll “helped launch such shows as Inside the Actors Studio and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” AMC Networks highlighted.
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