Michelle Clancy | 19-08-2013
Michael Thornton has been promoted to the newly created position of chief revenue officer at the Starz premium cable network.
He will be responsible for the network sales and affiliate marketing group and oversee the Starz distribution businesses, comprised of Anchor Bay Entertainment, Starz Worldwide Distribution and Starz Digital Media.
Based in the company's Englewood, Colorado, offices, Thornton will report to Starz President Glenn Curtis.
"We are very pleased that Michael will be assuming the new role of chief revenue officer," said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said. "In the rapidly changing media business landscape, it's important for Starz to unite together the revenue businesses of affiliate sales (STARZ/ENCORE/MOVIEPLEX) and Starz Distribution under one senior executive. In his short time at Starz, Michael's wide-ranging talents and contributions to the businesses have been incredibly valuable. Combined with the excellent senior management and sales teams at Starz, we are confident in Michael's ability to move the Starz business forward."
Starz also announced that Ed Huguez will step down as president of affiliate distribution, but will stay with the company as an advisor through the first quarter of 2014. "During his tenure, Ed has been instrumental in increasing the value of the networks, the channels' distribution and revenue," Albrecht said. "We thank him for his hard work and dedication to the company and are grateful for his help during the transition."
Thornton previously served as executive vice president of acquisitions, business and legal affairs at the company, overseeing programming acquisitions for the 17 Starz channels and on-demand/online offerings. In addition, he was responsible for managing the strategic direction of business and legal affairs related to the acquisition of programming content as well as business and legal affairs for distribution of the Starz companies' content with online/broadband distributors, transactional VOD/EST, and worldwide syndication of proprietary STARZ Original series and other Starz proprietary/licensed content.
Prior to joining Starz in 2011, Thornton served in several senior executive positions with programming and legal responsibilities during his career, and most recently at Disney/ABC Domestic Television as executive vice president, business and legal affairs since 2005. Thornton oversaw multi-platform strategy and negotiations for post-theatrical distribution of The Walt Disney Studios' film output and the post-network distribution of ABC Studios' television product. Prior to that, Thornton was senior vice president of programming acquisitions for DirecTV since 1999, where he led programming strategy, including the acquisition of all on-air acquired and original programming and negotiated successfully numerous network, local broadcast station, sports subscription and one-off event deals.
Thornton is a graduate of Dartmouth College, UCLA School of Law, and the Anderson Graduate School of Management, also at UCLA.