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Nearly six months after Starz CEO Chris Albrecht exited in February, Lionsgate brass is moving closer to a revamp of the premium TV network’s executive structure.
According to insiders, at least one thing is clear: Albrecht is not expected to be replaced as CEO. Instead, Lionsgate chief executive Jon Feltheimer is taking a more active role in overseeing the channel.
Part - Involvement - Feltheimer - Meetings - Months
As part of his increased involvement, Feltheimer is believed to have had exploratory meetings a few months ago with several Hollywood players (including YouTube global head of original content Susanne Daniels and former HBO programming president Michael Lombardo) to potentially install a new creative at Starz.
That person would work alongside Starz chief operating officer Jeffrey Hirsch, and the two executives would share day-to-day oversight and report to Feltheimer. That two-pronged structure would allow Hirsch to continue to oversee the business and operations side of Starz, while the new exec would focus on programming. What that might mean for Starz programming president Carmi Zlotnik is unknown, although he could segue into more of a production role.
Feltheimer - Lionsgate - Rush - Exec - Creative
Feltheimer and Lionsgate have not been in a rush to name an exec to the top creative post, but are believed to now be ramping up their search. For his first step after Albrecht’s exit, Feltheimer moved forward in merging some of Starz’s key physical production units, as well as legal and some business affairs and finance, under Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs and president Sandra Stern. That integration is ongoing.
Also perhaps giving Lionsgate reason to hold off on major changes: ongoing scuttlebutt that CBS may be interested in purchasing Starz. CBS previously offered $5 billion for the channel, and Lionsgate is believed to have countered with a $5.5 billion price tag. There’s also media speculation that Lionsgate might turn around and pursue a merger with MGM.
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