AMCNI names Sam Rowden to run new UK & EMEA content unit

Sam Rowden

AMC Networks International (AMCNI) is restructuring its operations in the UK and EMEA by creating a new content group to house all of its channels and streaming operations, with Sam Rowden appointed to run the new division.

Rowden has been promoted to the newly created position of VP of content group at AMCNI-UK and will oversee the Paramount Global joint venture channels (CBS Justice, CBS Europa, CBS Reality, RealityXtra, Legend, HorrorXtra) as well as its own channel brands, AMC and SundanceTV.

Her new remit also includes oversight of the company’s AVOD player CBS Catchup Channels UK and FAST channel True Crime from CBS Reality.

Rowden, who had previously only overseen the CBS channels, is now also responsible for content acquisition and content partnerships across streaming and channels, including the relationship with Paramount. She will continue to report to Kevin Dickie, EVP & MD for AMCNI-UK.

Rowden joined the company in 2007 and has commissioned and executive produced titles including The Real Prime Suspect, Donal MacIntyre’s Killer Evidence, The Truth About My Murder, Wrongly Accused, Murder: Fight For The Truth and Murder By The Sea.

The Real Prime Suspect

She also led the rebrand of Horror Channel to Legend, which AMC said has increased market share by 25% based on year-on-year comparison January to May.

Prior to AMCNI-UK, Rowden worked as a consultant for UKTV and was head of acquisitions and co-production for Sky One.

AMNCI’s linear & streaming integration

The rejig is part of AMCNI’s attempts to “further integrate” its linear and streaming operations, Dickie said, with the move coming at a turbulent time for the organisation’s US-based parent.

AMC Networks said in February it would be cutting its content spend by around 20% this year, with the decision following Kristin Dolan, board member and wife of company owner James Dolan, appointment as CEO.

The company also announced late last year that it planned to cut around a fifth of its US workforce and implement “significant” cutbacks in operations as it navigated the shift to streaming.

Of Rowden’s promotion, Dickie said: “Sam has been the driving force behind the continued success of AMCNI-UK’s joint ventures with Paramount Global, both in the UK and in EMEA, including the development of our highly successful true crime originals effort since the beginning.

“With her leadership skills and expertise developing brands that appeal to a wide range of audiences, she is perfectly placed to assume this key role as we further integrate our linear and streaming efforts.”

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