Although legacy-based TV networks have been rethinking or stopping their splashy upfront advertising presentations due to tougher economic conditions, troubled TV network group AMC Networks will offer a live, in person upfront presentation on April 18.
AMC, a mid-sized network group, is going ahead with the event despite recently making significant staffing cuts, and after the sudden departure of its CEO.
The upfront event will be limited to 200 to 250 attendees and will take place on April 18 at the venue, Jazz at Lincoln Center. A year ago, AMC held a similar-sized event at Peak in Hudson Yards, New York City.
For the event, AMC intends to focus on new spinoffs of “The Walking Dead,” its longtime popular TV series. It will also talk up new TV series “Lucky Hank,” starring Bob Odenkirk and Mireille Enos. Odenkirk has starred in two other major AMC series, “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.”
In addition, AMC intends to continue to build out its growing stable FAST channels (Free Ad-Supported Television) to extend reach to its advertisers clients who continue to see reach declines on legacy TV networks. AMC will also push new ‘advanced advertising’ efforts.
AMC Networks recently cut a significant number of staffers -- amounting to around 20% of its employees. This came on the heels of the unexpected departure of Christina Spade, CEO of AMC Networks, in late November.
Spade had only been on the job three months. A replacement has not been found yet.
Days after Spade’s departure, the company named James Dolan interim executive chairman.
Although AMC Networks has started up a number of streaming apps over the past few years, executives say they have not able to grow the businesses fast enough to offset continued cord-cutting that has impacted linear TV networks.
AMC stock price is down 57% over the last 12 months. It closed on Wednesday at $17.20.
In late December, Paramount Global decided to forgo its longtime upfront presentation held at Carnegie Hall, which has featured the CBS Television Network.
Company executives said the move comes amid changing tougher TV-streaming economic conditions. The company said it would focus on smaller meetings with media agency executives and advertising clients.
Good for them. After all, this is the business of show.
And CBS will be back next year, if not sooner.