Christina Spade is moving up to CEO of AMC Networks, after serving as the company’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer since November. Spade’s new role becomes effective on September 9, and she succeeds Matt Blank, who has been serving as interim CEO of AMC Networks since last September.
Additionally, Patrick O’Connell, previously a senior executive at CBS Corp. and Goldman Sachs, has been named AMC Networks’ EVP and chief financial officer, reporting to Spade.
“I’m delighted that Chris is taking over as our new CEO,” said AMC Networks Chairman James Dolan in a statement. “She is a proven leader with a long track record driving transformative change in media and entertainment and I am confident she has the expertise and vision to guide AMC Networks to greater success.”
“I’m a fan of this company in every respect, its content, brands, and most importantly, its people and dynamic and inclusive culture,” said Spade, also in a statement.
Spade had worked closely with Blank for more than 20 years and “I know she’ll bring her strong business and leadership skills, and passion for this company, to her new role,” said Blank.
Spade joined AMC Networks in January 2021 as EVP, chief financial officer, and was quickly promoted to a dual role of chief operating officer and chief financial officer last November. In that role, she oversaw AMC Networks’ key businesses and financial operations as well as investor relations and global technology.
Previously, Spade served as executive vice president, chief financial officer for ViacomCBS, now Paramount Global, overseeing all financial operations for the company, including treasury, tax, accounting, internal audit, information security and real estate. Prior to CBS and Viacom merging in December 2019, Spade had been in that role for CBS Corp. since October 2018.
From February 2013 to October 2018, Spade was EVP, chief financial officer and strategy for Showtime Networks Inc. where she was responsible for all financial matters relating to Showtime Networks’ businesses, including finance, strategy and information systems for the network’s divisions including budgeting, planning, forecasting and accounting. She also served as a member of the board for Smithsonian Channel.
Spade worked in different capacities at Showtime Networks during her over 21 years with the company, including SVP, affiliate finance and business operations for Showtime Networks Inc., where she led financial and business operations’ management of distribution revenue and sales, marketing and creative expenses. Prior to joining Showtime Networks, Spade was an audit manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the entertainment, media and communications practice.
Spade is a director and the audit committee chair for the board of LAMF Global Ventures Corp.In addition, she is a member of the T. Howard Foundation’s board of directors. She founded and is president of ATR Children’s Foundation, which is a non-profit organization established to help children in need. Spade was selected as a 2017 WICT Wonder Woman and served as an executive mentor in WICT’s mentorship program. She is a CPA and graduated with a B.S. in accounting from St. Joseph’s University.
Patrick O’Connell joins AMC Networks from consumer e-commerce company Branded, where he led strategic planning, financing and acquisitions.
Prior to that, he was EVP and head of corporate development at CBS Corp. where he was responsible for firm-wide strategy, financial forecasting, capital allocation and mergers and acquisitions. At CBS, he led complex transactions including the merger between CBS and Viacom and the divestiture of CBS Radio.
O’Connell spent 14 years at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he worked as managing director within the investment banking division in the telecom, media and technology group. He led coverage of the firm’s large-cap domestic media clients and served as trusted advisor to CEOs, CFOs and boards of directors on the negotiation and execution of strategic transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs and IPOs, and has extensive public and private market financing experience. Earlier in his career, O’Connell was an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
O’Connell is a CPA as well as a chartered financial analyst. He graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA.
AMC Networks is pursuing a streaming strategy in which it targets distinct audiences with its main streaming service, AMC Plus, as well as Acorn TV, ALLBLK, HIDIVE, Shudder and Sundance Now. The portfolio reaches 10.8 million subscribers and is expected to reach as many as 25 million subscribers in 2025. AMC Networks’ original programming includes The Walking Dead universe as well as Better Call Saul and new series Moonhaven, Dark Winds, This is Going to Hurt and the upcoming series, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire.