Josh Sapan is Executive Vice Chairman of AMC Networks, the global entertainment company behind the popular streaming services AMC+, Acorn TV, ALLBLK, Shudder and Sundance Now; several leading television networks AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, and WE tv; film distribution label IFC Films; television production and worldwide content distribution division AMC Studios; and AMC Networks International, the company’s international channels business.
Named CEO in 1995 and Executive Vice Chairman in 2021, Sapan led the company’s successful spin-off from Cablevision Systems Corporation in June 2011, when AMC Networks began trading as a separate public company on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
During his tenure, Sapan evolved the business from a collection of U.S. cable channels showcasing classic movies to what is today a company known for acclaimed and popular original content. He is credited with building some of television’s most influential entertainment shows, including AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” and “Better Call Saul;” BBC AMERICA’s “Killing Eve”; IFC’s “Portlandia” and “Documentary Now!;” and SundanceTV’s “Rectify” and “Top of the Lake.”
A champion of new voices, Sapan has brought independent film to wide audiences through IFC Films, with successes including the award-winning films Boyhood, The Death of Stalin, Boys Don’t Cry and Y Tu Mamá También. In 2005, Sapan opened the IFC Center, the brick and mortar home for the brand and to DOC NYC, the largest documentary film festival in the United States.
Sapan moved the company into the targeted streaming business with the launches of prestige drama and documentary streaming service Sundance Now in 2014 and the horror-centric Shudder in 2015; the 2018 acquisition of the British-focused Acorn TV and the Black TV and film service ALLBLK; and the 2020 launch of AMC+. The success of these services now makes the company a leader in the targeted streaming business.
Sapan has received a wide range of honors including the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, NATPE’s Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, the Paley Prize for Innovation and Excellence, and The Media Institute’s Freedom of Speech Award, for his contributions to the advancement and protection of free speech.
Sapan serves on the boards of The American Film Institute, The Paley Center for Media, the Museum of the Moving Image, New York Public Radio and The New School.
He is the author of the “The Big Picture: America in Panorama” and the forthcoming “Third Act,” both from Princeton Architectural Press.