Starz has restructured its senior team, including the departures of SVP of originals, Kathryn Tyus-Adair, director of originals Alex Alberts, SVP & head of production Kevin Hamburger and original programming manager Jordan Lippetz. The network will restructure its original programming operation under Kathryn Busby, Starz’s President of Original Programming.
The departures are announced a week after Starz unveiled plans to cut 10% of its workforce and exit international markets. The changes include Samantha Nissen's appointment as Head of current programming. Her team includes Sebastian Arboleda, with Christina Jokanovich becoming head of development, with Tara Roy, Director of Original Programming, reporting into her, and Karen Bailey named head of production. Giovanna Desselle, Director Original Programming, will work on both current and development.
Most recently, the network's original programming executives have been handling both development and current programming responsibilities. As a result of the restructure, development and current will be two separate groups. The Original Programming restructuring and executive departures form part of the company's general plan to lay off 10% of the company staff ahead of its separation next year from Lionsgate, which was relayed in a memo by CEO Jeff Hirsch last week.
“As difficult as it is, with many of our employees being impacted, we are making these changes to align our organization with the growth areas of the business and to prepare us for our next chapter as a standalone company,” Hirsch wrote in the memo.
In addition, Lionsgate’s plans to sell or spin off Starz were first revealed in late 2021, barely five years since the studio acquired the company for $4.4 billion. The final plans related to the split were delayed until early 2024, following Lionsgate’s acquisition of Entertainment One and “uncertainties” surrounding the Hollywood strikes. Lionsgate also previously revealed plans to pull out of Latin America by the end of this year, as it looks to scale back its international operations. US trade Deadline broke news of the most recent exits.