Longtime Showtime sports boss Ken Hershman is leaving the network for HBO, the Time Warner Company announced today.
Hershman will step in for Ross Greenburg who left HBO under pressure in July. The move will become official in January 2012. Hershman will be responsible for the strategic direction and overseeing the HBO Sports division, including the boxing franchise and HBO Pay-Per-View.
Hershman served as Showtime executive vice president and general manager of sports and event programming since 2003. He joined Showtime in 1997 as associate general counsel.
"Working at Showtime was an amazing experience, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have developed countless friendships and relationships across the organization,” Hershman said in a statement. ‘While I am sure that I will miss them all, I am excited by the opportunity to join the team at HBO and contribute to one of television’s most dynamic companies.”
Industry insiders point to Bob Arum’s decision to put the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight on Showtime as a primary reason for Greenburg’s departure from HBO.
Although Hershman’s departure wasn’t a big surprise to many, his departure leaves a void in Showtime’s sports department. Hershman has been lauded for keeping Showtime competitive in boxing despite not having the number of marquee fighters HBO has.