Starz Programming Chief Exits

Carmi Zlotnik - Getty - H 2020
Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Starz continues to clean its executive house.

Nearly a year after CEO Chris Albrecht was forced out amid a power struggle with new owner Lionsgate, Starz programming president Carmi Zlotnik is exiting as the premium cable network's roster of executives left from its previous regime dwindles.

Zlotnik, who presented Starz's originals Hightown, Outlander and Vida to reporters earlier this month at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, will step down from his position after a decade with the cabler. He will remain on board through the end of the month and consult while helping Starz with the transition. Zlotnik does not yet have a new role lined up.

“Carmi’s track record speaks for itself. He has been a valued member of the Starz team for nearly a decade, helping to build the Starz original programming team and strategy from the ground up while also serving as a great creative partner, mentor and friend to so many. We remain grateful to Carmi for his contributions and commitment to Starz throughout his time here and wish him continued success in his next chapter,” Starz president and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch said Monday in a statement.

Zlotnik's departure leaves Starz without a senior creative executive. Hirsch — who previously served as Starz's COO — was tapped to serve as Albrecht's interim replacement nearly a year ago. Hirsch was formally given Albrecht's president and CEO title in September. Under his purview, a number of execs from Albrecht's regime departed. Among them was rising star Marta Fernandez, who served as executive vp originals and had been with the cabler for 12 years when she stepped down last May — a mere five months after she was promoted to the position. 

Under HIrsch, Starz is more closely aligning itself with parent company Lionsgate. Nearly all of its scripted originals are now produced in-house by Lionsgate TV, with more in the works from the studio including offshoots of its well-known IP like Weeds and Blindspotting. Hirsch's mandate, as he explained to critics in his first TCA appearance since taking over the network, is to focus on what he called "premium female." He is looking for period dramas that resonate with the upscale and older female viewers who are drawn to the Starz hit Outlander.

For his part, Zlotnik spent a decade with Starz and helped launch many of the premium cable network's most beloved originals including the mega-hit Power, Outlander, American Gods, Vida, The Girlfriend Experience, The White Queen, Black Sails, Magic City, Spartacus and the upcoming Hightown and Power spinoffs. Albrecht brought in Zlotnik to Starz after the former arrived at HBO, reuniting the execs who together helped develop shows including Band of Brothers, The Sopranos, The Wire, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under and many others.