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Albrecht extends Starz stay

Chris Albrecht has signed a contract to remain CEO of US premium cable channel Starz until 2020, simultaneously adding the title of company president.

Chris AlbrechtThe new deal is effective as of July 1, with Albrecht (pictured) replacing the long-serving Glenn Curtis as president.

The news closely follows the appointment of global marketing president Jeffrey Hirsch as COO.

Since joining the John Malone-backed Starz in 2010, former HBO chief Albrecht has overseen a strategic push into original programming through shows such as Power, Outlander, Black Sails and The Girlfriend Experience. Previously, Starz and sister channel group Starz Encore had focused mainly on feature film deals.

“Chris has developed Starz into a leading, innovative entertainment brand with award-winning original programing that resonates with US and international audiences,” said Starz chairman Greg Maffei.

“He has made remarkable contributions to the business over the past six years, and we look forward to his vision creating even more value for distributors, partners and shareholders.”

Albrecht has also been active in various talks over the future ownership structure with the likes of Lionsgate Entertainment, CBS and 21st Century Fox.

Merger talks with Lionsgate were confirmed in February, though no deal has materialised. However, a report on Deadline yesterday suggested an agreement was still possible, with Wall Street investors keen.