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Starz CEO Chris Albrecht to Exit

As the Lionsgate-Starz integration continues, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht has decided to depart the premium network next month.

“I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished the last 10 years building Starz into one of the most exciting premium pay television brands in the industry,” Albrecht said in a statement late Friday. “As we reach the two-year anniversary of the integration of our two companies and complete the first exciting chapter of our growth together, I’ve decided it is time to move on to new opportunities.  I leave Starz in the hands of one of the most gifted executive teams in the business and have great confidence in their continued future success.”

Starz will move forward under COO Jeffrey Hirsch and the current leadership team, working closely with Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.   The Lionsgate chief praised Albrecht’s programming expertise and entrepreneurial abilities, saying that his exit comes following the end of “the first phase of our evolution into a unified company.”

Albrecht, a former HBO chmn, joined Starz in 2010 when it was owned by Liberty Media. He helped Starz move into original programming, with the net launching acclaimed series such as “Black Sails,” “Outlander” and “Power.”

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