AMC Networks to suffer layoffs as CEO quits and streaming can't make up for TV's linear decline

AMC Networks to suffer layoffs as CEO quits and streaming can’t make up for TV’s linear decline

Shortly after AMC Networks CEO Christina Spade abruptly resigned after less than three months in the role, company chairman James Dolan sent a memo to staff Nov. large scale as well as cuts in all areas of activity”. ”

“We thought the cord-cutting losses would be offset by streaming gains. This has not been the case,” Dolan wrote, adding, “We of course realize that this will cause significant concern and anxiety for our employees and those who depend on AMC Networks for their livelihoods. We don’t take this lightly. We will take all possible measures to minimize the impact of these actions on our community.

The company – which is home to cable networks such as AMC, IFC and Sundance TV, as well as streamers such as AMC+, Acorn TV and Shudder – did not immediately provide details on the reasons for the move and said that she was finalizing the selection process. a successor.

Across all of its brands, AMC Networks has approximately 10.8 million subscribers and subscribers are expected to be at 12 million by the end of the year with a plan to reach 20-25 million. here 2025. But the cord cutting is accelerating. In the last quarter, the largest pay-TV providers in the United States recorded a loss of 785,000 net video subscribers, compared with a loss of 650,000 a year ago, according to a tally by Leichtman Research.

News of the CEO’s exit and layoffs comes shortly after AMC’s most-watched show, The walking dead, has ended its run as the basic cable network then looks to cash in on lucrative streaming and international sales for at least three ongoing spinoffs featuring the franchise’s most beloved stars. By bringing the flagship to a “shutdown,” AMC canceled decades-old streaming and international deals that were shut down before the zombie drama became a global phenomenon. Yet revenue from future sales of TWD the fallout won’t be enough to keep the network and its myriad streaming services afloat, as interest (and ad sales) in the franchise continues to dwindle.

AMC, in recent years, has turned to more foreign co-productions with short-run originals to stay competitive. The network faces a turning point after also bringing breaking Bad prequel You better call Saul and Kill Eve to their conclusions in 2022. Looking ahead, AMC has high hopes for its Anne Rice franchise with Interview with a Vampire already renewed and Witches of Mayfair and Invitation to a bonfire both due in 2023 with several TWD offshoots and new black orphan after, Echoes. Also look for feedback from Saul stars Bob Odenkirk and Giancarlo Esposito in straight man and The driver at some point in the not too distant future.

Wall Street analysts were caught off guard by CEO Spade’s abrupt exit. Amid the uncertainty, shares of AMC Networks fell $1.24, or 6%, to $19.34 by midday.

Spade took on the role of CEO on September 9 and surprised investors with his early departure, even though his employment contract runs until 2025.

Cowen analyst Doug Creutz called the news of Spade’s exit “a complete surprise”, adding that it “leaves the company in need of new leadership, with no apparent successor behind the scenes”. While Creutz reiterated his “market performance” rating on the stock and his $22 price target, he pointed out, “No rationale has been given by the company for the exit, which leaves some number of potential reasons, both personal and operational. We expect this news to put pressure on stocks unless and until the company finds new leadership and can reassure investors that Spade’s exit was not related to any financial issues.

“We thank Christina for her contributions to the company in her role as CEO and her previous role as Chief Financial Officer, and wish her well in her future endeavours,” Chairman Dolan said in a statement Tuesday.

Dolan’s memo to AMC employees is below:

AMC Networks Community:

As you are no doubt aware, our industry has been under pressure from increasing subscriber losses. This is mainly due to the “cutting of the cord”. At the same time, we’ve seen the rise of direct-to-consumer streaming apps, including our own AMC+. We thought the cord-cutting losses would be offset by streaming gains. It was not the case. We are first and foremost a content company and content monetization mechanisms are in disarray.

It is for this reason that I and the AMC Networks Board of Directors have concluded that we, as a company, need to conserve our resources at this time. We ordered the executive management of AMC Networks to undergo significant operating cuts. These will include a large-scale layoff as well as cuts in all areas of AMC Networks’ operations. We are of course aware that this will cause significant concern and anxiety for our employees and those who depend on AMC Networks for their livelihood. We don’t take this lightly. We will take all possible measures to minimize the impact of these actions on our community. However, it is imperative that we begin immediately with this new course of action.

The Dolan family and the AMC Networks Board of Directors are very proud of the company and the products you have created. It is a confusing and uncertain time in our industry. We are confident that AMC Networks will come out of this even stronger. Your branch will provide you with details shortly. We only wish the best for everyone in the AMC Networks community.

Sincerely,
James Dolan


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