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Starz has installed a new head of original programming.
Kathryn Busby has been tapped to replace Christina Davis in the role, reporting to Starz CEO Jeff Hirsch. Davis departed in June after a mere 13-month run in which she replaced longtime programming chief Carmi Zlotnik. The latter departed in January 2020 after more than a decade run atop the now Lionsgate-backed premium cable network.
In her new role, Busby will lead programming and development teams for the cabler, which focuses on stories by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences. She brings with mer more than 25 years of experience.
“Kathryn is an incredible well-seasoned executive who has a long-running track record of developing series with unique voices,” said Hirsch. “We are excited to welcome her to the Starz team where I know she’ll be instrumental in furthering the company’s commitment to deliver programming for women and underrepresented audiences.”
She joins Starz from TriStar Television, where she served as exec vp and also sat on the Sony Pictures Action Council. She previously had posts at Turner Broadcasting, New Line Cinema, Carsey-Werner and Universal Television. During her tenure at TriStar TV, she helped develop Apple’s The Afterparty, and a Malcolm X series from his daughter, Illyasah Shabazz. Before moving to TriStar, she worked at Sony Pictures Networks and developed Absentia. Her credits include Grounded for Life, The Tracy Morgan Show, 3rd Rock From the Sun and That ‘70s Show.
“I am inspired by Starz’s dedication and commitment to fearless, unapologetic stories and characters, and I am beyond thrilled to work with the extraordinary team there,,” she said. “The time is now for storytelling that celebrates the full spectrum of humanity, and the place to do it is Starz. This is an amazing opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Busby takes on oversight of a scripted roster that includes the Power franchise, P-Valley, Outlander, Run the World, Shining Vale, Party Down, Black Mafia Family, Blindspotting, Gaslit, Hightown and Heels, among others.
Her arrival comes as Starz parent Lionsgate has recently seen a number of such high-profile creators as Courtney Kemp, Justin Simien and Yvette Lee Bowser exit for overall deals elsewhere.
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