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AMC Networks Owner’s Wife Kristin Dolan Named CEO

The executive appointment follows the departure of former CEO Christina Spade in November

Kristin Dolan, the wife of AMC Networks interim executive chairman and owner James Dolan, has been named the entertainment giant’s new chief executive officer.

Mr. Dolan said, “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. 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.”

“It’s a privilege to join a company with a long legacy of engaging audiences with excellent storytelling and world-class brands,” said Ms. Dolan. “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.”

Sources told The Wall Street Journal that Kristin Dolan has been a steady presence inside AMC, attending meetings and keeping an office on the executive floor. In addition to being a member of AMC Networks’ board, she founded audience measurement and data analytics company 605 in 2016.

The executive search follows the departure of former CEO Christina Spade in November after just three months in the role.

Following his appointment as interim executive chairman in November, Dolan announced a “large-scale layoff affecting about 20% of AMC Networks’ staff and “cuts to every operating area.”

“As I am sure you are aware our industry has been under pressure from growing subscriber losses,” Dolan wrote in a memo to employees at the time. “This is primarily due to ‘cord cutting.’ At the same time we have seen the rise of direct to consumer streaming apps including our own AMC+. It was our belief that cord cutting losses would be offset by gains in streaming. This has not been the case. We are primarily a content company and the mechanisms for the monetization of content are in disarray. It is for that reason that myself and the Board of Directors of AMC Networks have concluded that we as a company need to conserve our resources at this time.” 

Additionally, AMC pulled the plug on Season 2 of “61st Street” starring Courtney B. Vance, which had already been filmed. It also axed previously greenlit series “Invitation to a Bonfire” with Tatiana Maslany, which had already shot four episodes.

According to the Journal, AMC is looking at more ways to cut costs while continuing to grow its streaming subscriptions. The company has set a goal for a total of 20 million to 25 million subscribers by the end of 2025.

The cost-cutting efforts come as AMC Networks has been approached by multiple companies about potentially being acquired in the past several years. Those potential suitors have included Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Blackstone Inc., Apollo Global Management, and most recently, Roku and private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners, the Journal reported.

Representatives for Roku and Lionsgate declined to comment. Representatives for the other companies did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.

Shares of AMC Networks have fallen about 74% in the past year but are up 27% year to date. The company is slated to release its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2022 on Friday before the market open.