Mark Greenberg will remain at the helm of Epix under a new deal set with the premium network’s studio partners: Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM.
Greenberg has been president-CEO of Epix since its inception in 2008. The pay TV veteran designed the business plan and spearheaded the launch of the service in October 2009. More recently he guided Epix’s move into original series with two titles that launched last month, Nick Nolte comedy “Graves” and the spy drama “Berlin Station.” Another series, an adaptation of MGM’s 1993 pic “Get Shorty,” begins production next week.
“Mark has consistently focused on presenting top quality programming and cultivating a brand that is respected and valued for its great movies, great series and documentaries. We are pleased to work with him and excited to do more together in the future,” said Brad Grey, Paramount Pictures chairman-CEO.
Greenberg’s new contract comes at a time of transition for two of the three Epix partners — Paramount and Lionsgate. Paramount parent company Viacom is exploring the possibility of a merger with CBS Corp., which owns the rival Showtime pay TV group.
Lionsgate is in the midst of closing its merger with another premium cabler, Starz. That led Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer to assert in June that Epix was not a “truly strategic platform” for the studio because it only owns 31%. Viacom owns the largest share of Epix at about 49%.
Still, Feltheimer called Greenberg a “good friend and a great partner” in announcing the contract renewal.
“He is a digitally-savvy executive who anticipated where consumer behavior was headed, and the network reflects his entrepreneurial and forward-looking thinking,” Feltheimer said.
Greenberg designed Epix to be the vessel for making new and library titles from its partner studios available via streaming and VOD platforms. The company was well positioned to take advantage of the demand for streaming content through deals with Netflix and Hulu, even as it has yet to crack the two largest linear MVPDs, DirecTV and Comcast.
“Mark has done a tremendous job with Epix over the last seven years. This renewal is a testament to his leadership and I look forward to working with him to bring Epix to new heights in the years ahead,” said Gary Barber, chairman-CEO of MGM.
Greenberg described his tenure with Epix to date as “a remarkable journey to build a new premium entertainment service that brought the content that consumers want to the devices and screens where they want to watch it.”