David Nevins to Succeed Matt Blank as Showtime CEO

David Nevins Matt Blank Split - H 2015
Courtesy of CBS

David Nevins Matt Blank Split - H 2015

CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves reveals a transition plan for the pay cable network, with Nevins adding all business functions to his purview in 2016.

David Nevins is on the rise at Showtime. The president of the pay cable network will add the CEO title to his business card at the end of the year, when longtime chairman and CEO Matthew Blank passes along the title in a transition plan revealed Thursday.

“Matt Blank has led Showtime as its chairman and CEO through two decades of dramatic change and evolution in the industry,” Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of Showtime parent CBS Corp., said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “At each and every turn, he has shown terrific instincts and knowledge of the business. His patience, energy and dedication were central to building Showtime into the powerhouse it is today. He is passing the CEO torch at a terrific time, with Showtime now poised for significant new growth over the Internet."

Blank will continue to serve as chairman, part of a multi-year deal, once Nevins, who was elevated to the president post last year, takes full reins of the network on Jan. 1. At that point, Nevins will add all business functions to his existing oversight of programming, with all senior management reporting to him. Per his expanded role, Nevins' contract also has been extended through the end of 2018.

"One of the key attributes I look for in my leadership team is the capacity and willingness to bring up the next generation of management," said Moonves. "Matt has been an eager partner and invaluable contributor to the succession planning process at Showtime. It is a credit to Matt that we are now prepared to add the CEO duties to a talented executive like David Nevins, who is more than ready to take on this important role."

Moonves heaped praise on Nevins, who joined Showtime in 2010 after an Emmy-winning producing career (Friday Night Lights, 24).

"David is quite simply one of the most brilliant creative minds in our business today, and a great business manager as well, a combination that is both rare and incredibly valuable," Moonves said. "In this world that is flooding with content, he is a peerless programmer whose work immediately rises to the top, be it in entertainment, in documentaries or in sports, all of which have blossomed under his leadership at Showtime."

Since joining the network, Nevins has helped raise its profile considerably with the launch of dramas Homeland, Masters of Sex and The Affair, among others. He will continue to be in charge of creative development and acquisition of premium programming and marketing, while also adding responsibility for all aspects of the daily and strategic management at Showtime Networks, the duties currently handled by Blank.

"This transition comes at a time of truly exciting growth for Showtime,” Nevins said in a statement. “I feel fortunate to be handed the reins by Leslie and Matt, who have been the kind of mentors you can only hope to find once in a lifetime. Looking forward, all of us at Showtime will benefit immeasurably from Matt’s ongoing guidance and counsel as chairman.”

Prior to joining Showtime, Nevins oversaw development and production as president of Imagine Television between 2002 and 2010 — also producing Arrested Development and developing and producing Parenthood. Since his arrival, Showtime has increased its subscriber count, though it still lags rival HBO. It has scored multiple Emmy wins for Homeland and recently nabbed two Golden Globes for The Affair.

Blank's Showtime tenure goes back to 1988, when he first served as executive vp marketing before quickly rising to president and COO and ultimately becoming chairman and CEO in 1995. He most recently worked on the upcoming launch of the over-the-top Showtime app, set to be available on Apple, Roku and Playstation in July. Once functioning solely as chairman, Blank will continue to offer guidance on big-picture issues, have a voice in strategy and represent the company on the National Cable and Telecommunications Association board.

“I’m so proud of all the success at Showtime over the past few years," Blank said in a statement. "One of the great joys of my career has been working with David Nevins. I know he’ll bring his great programming, business and leadership skills, as well as his passion for Showtime, to his new responsibilities. This is a time of great opportunity for the company, and we are delighted David will be at the helm.”