Ken Hershman will be stepping down as President of HBO Sports at the end of 2015, the network announced this morning, a surprising move given that HBO has done strong boxing numbers this year.
Hershman worked at Showtime from 1992-2012, serving as the Showtime Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager starting in October 2003. His move to HBO came when the company needed a replacement for Ross Greenburg, looking across the hall, as it were, to its chief rival, and seeing someone who had done some innovative things to make a smaller brand stronger.
"I am particularly proud of what I accomplished and believe now is the perfect time to hand over the reins to someone new," said Hershman, via press release. "I've had the distinct privilege of having been involved in many of boxing's biggest and most thrilling moments, including the Mike Tyson era, creating the Super Six Tournament, and, staging the biggest pay-per-view event of all-time this past May in Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. I have also had the privilege to steward over some of the best sports shows on television, including 24/7, Real Sports and Hard Knocks, and to work with some of the best talent in television, both behind and in front of the camera."
Hershman believes that HBO Sports is in a good position as he leaves, and he'll be working with HBO Programming President Mark Lombardo "on a smooth transition of the leadership role in the sports division."
"HBO Sports is well positioned for the future, especially in the boxing arena, with nine of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the sport today, including the world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev, Miguel Cotto, Andre Ward, Terence Crawford and many others. I cannot wait to watch these great fighters exhibit their skills, but from the vantage point of a passionate boxing fan," said Hershman.
Lombardo added, "Ken's dedication and commitment to our sports division is deeply appreciate. His approach to rebuilding our boxing franchise was strategic and creative which led HBO Sports to great success. All of us here are grateful and proud of the success Ken and the HBO Sports team have had over the past four years in delivering unparalleled sports programming to our subscribers. We wish him all the best in his next challenge."