Former HBO chief Chris Albrecht is the new president and CEO of Starz, the premium cable network's parent company Liberty Media announced today.
Albrecht, who spent more than 20 years at HBO (seven years as president of original programming) and was credited for launching series such as The Sopranos and Sex and the City. He will oversee all Starz entities, including the network, Overture Films and Anchor Bay Entertainment.
"We are excited to have an industry leader with an exceptional track record join the Starz team," said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media's president and CEO. "With his extensive experience and success in creating compelling original content and building a premium pay channel, Chris is a recognized visionary in the creative community and uniquely qualified to lead Starz into the future."
A premium network best known for running movies, Starz has been making a recent push into scripted programming with the drama series Crash and the upcoming Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Albrecht will succeed Robert Clasen, who's retiring at the end of the year.
"I am thrilled and honored to be asked to join a great company like Starz and to help take advantage of the challenges and opportunities emerging in media and entertainment," Albrecht said. "I have always seen Starz as a bold, entrepreneurial and growth-oriented brand—one that I believe will be a great home for me. I look forward to putting my experiences and interests to work with the talented management team at Liberty and Starz to create valued products for consumers and our affiliate partners."
Albrecht left HBO in 2007 and has most recently run Foresee Entertainment.