Josh Sapan is Executive Vice Chairman of AMC Networks, the global entertainment company known for creating some of the most celebrated and groundbreaking original content in television history. Sapan’s success in delivering must-have content to passionate audiences, coupled with his championing of innovative distribution models, has transformed the way people watch TV and film.
Under Sapan’s leadership, including his 26-year tenure as President and CEO, he reshaped the company, evolving it from a collection of U.S. cable channels showcasing classic movies to what is today a company known for bold, prestige original drama, and more recently, for its fast-growing targeted streaming services.
The company’s portfolio includes streaming services AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK, as well as cable channels AMC, BBC AMERICA (operated through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and independent production and distribution label IFC Films.
Sapan has been credited with making AMC Networks a destination for some of the most influential content in entertainment at the center of what’s been widely referred to as the modern day “Golden Age” of TV, including original drama series Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Walking Dead, Killing Eve, and Rectify; mini-series The Night Manager, Top of the Lake and Carlos; mold-breaking comedies Portlandia, Documentary Now! and Brockmire; landmark nature series Planet Earth II and Seven Worlds, One Planet; and leading unscripted series franchises Love After Lockup and Growing Up Hip Hop.
Sapan led the launch of the company’s first streaming offerings, Sundance Now (in 2014) and Shudder (in 2015). These launches were followed by the 2018 acquisition of RLJ Entertainment, which added Acorn TV and ALLBLK to the company’s streaming portfolio, and the 2020 launch of the AMC+ premium bundle – all of which set the company on its present course with a future built around targeted streaming offerings.
A champion of new voices, Sapan has brought independent film to wide audiences through IFC Films, supporting the early work of ground-breaking directors including Lena Dunham, Barry Jenkins, Richard Linklater, Mira Nair, Christopher Nolan and Lynn Shelton, among many others. The company is also 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, The Public Theater, 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.