According to a press release from the executive producers of HBO, former Showtime Vice President Ken Hershman has just been promoted to President of HBO Sports and will begin his new role starting in January 2012.
Many fight fans credit Hershman for bringing some of the more exciting match ups of boxing fights to Showtime while he was the vice president, general manager, and Sports and Event programming there since 2003.
He started off in 1992 as counsel of Showtime Networks INC. By 1997 he became senior vice president.
Hershman is a graduate from Fordham University School of Law where he was a member of the International Law Journal.
Hershman had made the following statement:
"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.”
According to an announcement from HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo, Ken will oversee the HBO sports division, which includes 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.
Michael Lombardo stated:
“Richard [Plepler, HBO co-president] and I believe that Ken is a perfect fit for HBO Sports. 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.”
Many credit Hershman for helping bring the biggest star in boxing Manny Pacquiao over to Showtime for his last fight against Shane Mosley, as well as the extensive marketing and promoting for that fight with CBS and other major affiliates. However Pacquiao is now slated to fight back on HBO PPV in his next fight against Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12th and appears to remain on the HBO network from now on.
According to an interview with ESPN's Dan Rafael back in April, Manny Pacquiao's Promoter President of Top Rank Todd DuBoef expressed that he was sick to his stomach that he had to bring Pacquiao back to HBO after having such a good relationship and experience with Hershman over at Showtime.
DuBoef said back in April:
"I'm absolutely sick. This has been a physically and mentally very grueling process," duBoef said. "But it's invigorating to see how two major media companies have used incredible resources and assets to show how much they want to be involved in a boxing match.
Obviously DuBoef no longer has to feel sick that he brought the biggest name in boxing back to HBO from Showtime since Hershman is now the president of HBO Sports.
What does this mean for the future of HBO Sports and HBO Boxing?
As a big fight fan I can only imagine it would only mean good things. Many praise Hershman for being an innovator and most importantly making the most meaningful and best action packed fights come together. Many who prefer Showtime's Fight Camp 360 over HBO's 24/7 may now get the best of both worlds now that Ken's in charge at HBO.
If you enjoyed the Super Six Classic Tournaments and the Bantamweight Tournament you can probably look forward to Ken bringing together an even bigger better tournament over to HBO.
Personally I think Hershman should be viewed as a big inspiration much like our favorite boxing champions are. He seemed to have climbed the ranks over at Showtime in a matter of a few years and became the man in charge of everything and then just when you think he can not climb any further up he's now the president of HBO Sports.
King J is the Bleacher Report Boxing Community Leader and a Featured Columnist. All information was provided directly to him via press release email from the executive producers of HBO.
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