Nellie Andreeva

HBO has reached out to rival Showtime for a replacement to Ross Greenburg, who recently left the network after 33 years at the pay cable network — the last 11 as president of HBO Sports. Showtime’s EVP and General Manager Sports Ken Hershman has been tapped as Greenburg’s successor. UPDATE: Here’s HBO’s official release:

NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2011 – Veteran sports television executive Ken Hershman will join HBO in January 2012 as President, HBO Sports, it was announced today by Michael Lombardo, President, HBO Programming, to whom he will report.  Hershman will be responsible for the strategic direction and overseeing the HBO Sports division, including the boxing franchise and HBO Pay-Per-View.  The HBO Sports portfolio includes the Emmy-winning journalism program “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel”; the Peabody Award-winning Legends & Legacies documentary unit; and the groundbreaking reality series “Hard Knocks” and the “24/7” franchise.

“Richard [Plepler, HBO co-president] and I believe that Ken is a perfect fit for HBO Sports,” said Lombardo.  “He has a deep and thorough understanding of the sport of boxing and that background will be invaluable as he transitions to his role at HBO.  Ken has demonstrated a capacity to think outside the box, and the combination of his experience and reputation make him the ideal executive addition to HBO’s already stellar sports department.”

Hershman joins HBO from Showtime, where he had been the executive vice president & general manager, Sports & Event Programming, since Oct. 2003.  Hershman started at Showtime in 1992 as counsel, Showtime Networks, Inc. and moved into a senior programming role in Sports and Events in Jan. 2001.  Prior to that, he served as senior vice president, associate general counsel for Showtime Networks Inc., a position he held since Feb. 1997.

Says Hershman, “Working at Showtime was an amazing experience, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have developed countless friendships and relationships across the organization.  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.”

Regarded in the sports television community as a proven innovator, Hershman is a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, where he was a member of the International Law Journal and received his B.A. degree with distinction from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 1985.

Hershman will begin his new duties at HBO on Jan. 9, 2012.

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