Ken Hershman has been chosen as the new president of HBO Sports, the cable outlet announced Thursday. Hershman, who had previously served as executive VP and GM of sports and event programming at Showtime, will assume his new duties on Jan. 9, 2012.
HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo called Hershman "the perfect fit for HBO Sports" in the announcement, adding, " “He has a deep and thorough understanding of the sport of boxing and that background will be invaluable as he transitions to his role at HBO."
He'll be replacing longtime HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg, who announced in July that he was stepping down after 33 with the cable outlet.
According to the Los Angeles TImes, Greenburg resigned amid speculation that things had become tense between him and the HBO brass
HBO Sports took a body blow recently when champion boxer Manny Pacquiao's decided to air his next fight on Showtime, ending a string of highly-viewed bouts on HBO.
Greenburg denied that the loss of Pacquaio had anything to do with his decision. He also faced criticism for canceling "Inside the NFL," which was subsequently picked up by Showtime.
Showtime confirmed Hershman's departure to TheWrap, noting, "Sports has been an important part of our content lineup at Showtime for many years. We have a great team and great programming in place and our commitment to sports remains strong. We have no announcement about a successor at this time, when we do we will let you know."
Hershman also addressed his tenure at Showtime — he'd been with the company since 1997, and had been EVP and GM since 2003 — in Thursday's announcement.
"Working at Showtime was an amazing experience, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have developed countless friendships and relationships across the organization," Hershman said. "While I am sure that I will miss them all, I am excited by the opportunity to join the team at HBO and contribute to one of television’s most dynamic companies.”