AMC Networks is down its chief operating officer. Ed Carroll is stepping down at the end of the year, ending a 34-year tenure with the company.
Carroll’s departure comes a month after CEO Josh Sapan stepped down, though he shifted to an executive chairman role. Former Showtime CEO Matthew Blank is currently filling in as interim CEO.
Carroll has been COO for AMC since 2009. He has been instrumental, along with Sapan, in changing AMC from an old movie network to a scripted prestige drama player with shows like “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead.” More recently, he has worked on the streaming side of the business, overseeing Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK, as well as the launch of AMC+.
Carroll’s decision to leave, coming so closely after Sapan’s own exit as CEO, will only raise further questions about the future of AMC Networks (which we detailed here).
“For decades, Ed has been the heart and soul of AMC Networks,” Sapan said. “He has been at the center of the shows and movies that brought success to the company, and at the center of what has made AMC Networks a great place to work. In a business where credit for achievement can be actively sought, Ed looked for none, choosing to make all around him look good. His kind is rare.”
“I’ve appreciated all of Ed’s efforts to help ensure a smooth transition as I’ve taken on a new interim role with the company,” Blank added. “His long history building AMC Networks’ strong brands and powerful original content slate is now paving the way for the company’s ongoing pivot to being the worldwide leader in targeted streaming.”
“It has been a great ride and extremely satisfying to work with an extraordinary team to create TV shows with impact and, most recently, to successfully bring to market a new streaming platform with AMC+,” Carroll said. “Among the things I am most proud of is greenlighting ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Mad Men,’ including teaching Bryan Cranston how to act and Jon Hamm how to look good in front of a camera.”