Succeeding him in the CFO role will be Michael Crotty, who will be returning to the company after a four-year stint at The Players’ Tribune, where he has served as CFO since 2016. (He spent the decade prior to that at Showtime and Smithsonian Networks.) Crotty is set to oversee BET Networks’ finance team now that Showtime is part of the newly merged ViacomCBS, starting immediately, with Townsend shepherding the transition.
Townsend has been CFO since Oct. 2018, after a decade as exec VP of corporate finance and investor relations at CBS, where he oversaw CBS’ investment community outreach and analyzed the company’s competitive positioning.
“Adam has been invaluable to Showtime Networks and CBS, not only with managing our finances but also our overall leadership,” said Showtime chairman and CEO David Nevins in a statement. “He’s been an enormous help in driving our business through a year of many transitions, and we are sorry to lose him. We wish him all the best on what we expect will be an exciting next chapter. We count ourselves incredibly fortunate to be able to lure Michael back to Showtime. He is extremely well liked and respected by everyone he worked with during his previous stint here, and the years he spent as CFO of The Players’ Tribune have given him indispensable entrepreneurial and leadership experience that he brings back to us.”
Voted top media investor relations officer by sellside analysts Institutional Investors Magazine’s Annual All-American Executive Team survey for seven straight years through 2018, Townsend was, prior to CBS, managing director of investor relations and corporate strategy for E*Trade and vice president of equity research and Hambrecht & Quist and JP Morgan.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to have held the various positions I have in this Corporation over the past 12 years,” said Townsend. “From the first retrans deals to the proliferation of streaming, I have been fortunate to have had a seat on the front lines of the media industry’s dramatic transformation. And at Showtime, the finance integration within ViacomCBS is well underway, and I am confident the Company is now on a path toward its own transformation for the future.”
At The Players’ Tribune, Crotty oversaw its finance, operations, sales and marketing, branded production, corporate strategy, and legal departments. During his most recent tenure at Showtime, he was responsible for three teams in charge of financial oversight and business operations management of the company’s distribution revenue platform and sales, marketing, new product development and creative expenses, as well as guided strategic analysis on distribution and growth issues on traditional and non-traditional affiliate accounts. Prior to that, Crotty had worked at Smithsonian Networks, Arthur Andersen LLP, and Altria Group. He first worked for Showtime networks as a business analyst starting in 2002.