Josh Sapan is President and CEO of AMC Networks, the global entertainment company known for creating some of the most celebrated and groundbreaking original content in television history. Sapan’s strong record of delivering must-have content to passionate audiences, coupled with his championing of innovative distribution models, has transformed cable television and the way people watch TV and film.
Sapan is credited with building some of the most influential entertainment brands and shows at the center of what’s been widely referred to as the modern day “Golden Age” of TV. The company’s brands including AMC, BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV and WE tv are behind the era-defining and critically acclaimed dramas Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Walking Dead, Rectify and Killing Eve; landmark natural history series Planet Earth II and Seven Worlds, One Planet; mold-breaking comedies Portlandia, Documentary Now! and Brockmire; and leading unscripted series Love After Lockup and Growing Up Hip Hop.
Sapan has driven the company’s digital strategy, led by its growing targeted subscription video on demand services Acorn, Shudder, Sundance Now and UMC, which target distinct premium audiences and build loyal and engaged fan communities.
A champion of independent film and diverse voices, Sapan has been instrumental in bringing independent film to wide audiences through IFC Films, and pioneered the strategy of same-day theatrical and video-on-demand release which fundamentally altered U.S. distribution of independent film. The company is home to the IFC Center, the art-house cinema located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village, and is behind DOC NYC, the largest documentary film festival in the United States.
Sapan is a recipient of the Paley Prize for Innovation and Excellence and has been recognized by Vanity Fair as one of the “Impresarios of Cable’s Golden Age.” He serves on numerous boards, including the American Film Institute, The Paley Center for Media, the Museum of the Moving Image, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, and New York Public Radio and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Executive Branch.
He is the author of “The Big Picture: America in Panorama” (Princeton Architectural Press), a collection of panoramic photos from the 20th century. He is also a published poet, and has the world’s largest collection of antique lightning rods, a selection of which is on permanent display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.