AMC Networks eyes $475m restructuring cost as programming execs depart

The Walking Dead

AMC Networks expects to face restructuring costs of between $350m and $475m as it seeks to turn the company around, while the shock departure of CEO Christina Spade earlier this week has been followed by several other senior exits.

The restructuring plan, which will see up to 20% of staff leaving, is designed to achieve “significant cost reductions, in light of ‘cord cutting’ and the related impacts being felt across the media industry, as well as the broader economic outlook,” the SEC Filing said.

The plan encompasses initiatives that will include, among other things, “strategic programming assessments and organisational restructuring costs.”

AMC, whose output ranges from The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul to Motherland and Gangs Of London, said that the “programming assessments” included “a broad mix of owned and licensed content, including legacy television series and films”, which will “no longer be in active rotation on the company’s linear or digital platforms.”

Following the strategy of other US studios, AMC alluded to the fact that it would look to monetise third-party sales for its owned content.

Exec departures

The extent of AMC Networks’ problems only became clear earlier this week, when CEO Spade stepped down after just three months in the job.

Company chairman James Dolan announced “significant cutbacks” saying: “It was our belief that cord cutting losses would be offset by gains in streaming. This has not been the case.”

Following Spade is AMC’s head of unscripted, Marco Bresaz, who also worked across AMC Networks’ Sundance TV.

He is joined by David Stefanou, SVP of originals & development for WE tv, and Rafael Ruthchild, VP of scripted for AMC and Sundance, according to US trade Deadline.

The title also reported that Cassie Conaway, director of scripted at AMC Studios, and Laura Luckenbaugh, director of international programming & development for AMC Networks, are also exiting.


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