AMC Networks Names Kristin Dolan CEO

The fate of AMC Networks has always been determined by its controlling shareholders, the Dolan family, and now Kristin Dolan will get a chance to get the ailing programmer back on track.

The wife of Executive Chairman James Dolan, who has gained experience over three decades as a media and entertainment exec, will take the reins of the company on February 27. She will succeed Christina Spade, who lasted just three months into her tenure last year before parting ways with the company. James Dolan, who took a more hands-on role and, in steering it through the post-Spade era, presided over the layoffs of 20% of the company workforce and a number of programming pullbacks.

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Like a lot of its peers, AMC Networks has faced intensifying pressure from cord-cutting as it looked to build its presence in streaming with a portfolio of niche services. While the company prospered in many years after being spun off from Cablevision in 2011, on the backs of original hits like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Mad Men, it has struggled making the leap to streaming. A Wall Street Journal report earlier today said the company rebuffed takeover overtures by Roku, Lionsgate and several private equity firms as its valuation dipped below $1 billion.

AMC Networks is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Friday morning.

Kristin Dolan most recently had been serving as CEO of 605, the audience measurement and data analytics firm she founded in 2016. Before 605, she spent 16 years in various operating roles at Cablevision, including as Chief Operating Officer. The company was later sold in 2016 to French telecom firm Altice for $17.7 billion.

Prior to Cablevision, Dolan held various marketing roles at AMC Networks (then known as Rainbow Media Holdings), including in Affiliate Marketing and Distribution, where she began her career in 1989.

“Kristin is a proven executive and operational leader with a track record driving organizational change, a history managing subscription-based businesses, and a deep understanding of audience engagement and advertising,” James Dolan said in the official announcement. “These are areas of critical importance as we transform our company and monetize our high-quality content. With her considerable experience and knowledge of the company, Kristin is the ideal person to lead AMC Networks into its next chapter as we navigate this transformative period in the industry.”

Kristin Dolan called it “a privilege to join a company with a long legacy of engaging audiences with excellent storytelling and world-class brands.” She added, “It’s also where I started my career in the
industry. I look forward to bringing my broad experience—across programming, cable operations, and most recently, utilizing data to reimagine television advertising—to leverage AMC Networks’ strong assets, drive the next phase of the company’s growth, and build shareholder value in the coming years.”

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