Starz has promoted former network COO Jeffrey Hirsch to president and CEO, the network said Thursday.
Hirsch, who joined Starz four years ago and was promoted to COO in 2016, will oversee business and programming strategy for Starz. Hirsch, who has been running the network since the March departure of former CEO Chris Albrecht, has overseen the increase of Starz’s domestic subscriber base to 24.7 million from 23.5 million and has continued growing the Starz OTT service, currently at 4.4 million subscribers, according to the network.
Since Lionsgate’s acquisition of Starz in December 2016, Hirsch -- a former Time Warner Cable executive who joined the company in July 2015 as president of global marketing and product development -- has played a lead role in integrating Starz into the Lionsgate family and exploring opportunities for the two companies’ combined suite of OTT offerings, according to the network.
“Jeff continues to lead Starz’s transformation into one of the world’s premier subscription platforms,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer in a statement. “He has a clear strategic vision, great understanding of where our business is headed and strong relationships that will all contribute to Starz’s continued strong growth and evolution.
On the original programming front, Hirsch has already greenlit three new series, including female produced/written shows Dangerous Liaisons, dark comedy Shining Vale and a Power spinoff series starring Mary J. Blige in a lead role. In addition, Hirsch has greenlit a third season of drama series The Girlfriend Experience.