Ed Huguez, who served as president of affiliate distribution, will step down from his post and stay with the company as an advisor through the first quarter of 2014.
Thornton, who previously served as exec veep of acquisitions, biz and legal affairs, will be responsible for the network sales and affiliate marketing group, and oversee the Starz distribution businesses comprised of Anchor Bay Entertainment, Starz Worldwide Distribution and Starz Digital Media.
He will be based in Starz’s Colorado offices and report to company president Glenn Curtis.
“In the rapidly changing media business landscape, it is important for Starz to unite together the revenue businesses of affiliate sales (STARZ/ENCORE/MOVIEPLEX) and Starz Distribution under one senior executive,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. “In his short time at Starz, Michael’s wide-ranging talents and contributions to the businesses have been incredibly valuable. Combined with the excellent senior management and sales teams at Starz, we are confident in Michael’s ability to move the Starz business forward.”