Brian Lamb will be stepping down as CEO of the Cable Public
Affairs Network he founded in 1978, as well as chairman of the board. He will become executive chairman of the board.
Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain, co-presidents, will become co-CEOs April 1.
Lamb will continue hosting his weekly interview show and
Q&A, and will continue to help set the direction for the net and its
"Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain are veteran C-SPAN executives
with a deep sense of the C-SPAN mission and an eye to the future," said Glenn Britt,
Time Warner Cable chairman and chairman of C-SPAN's executive committee. "Their
successful partnership and long experience puts them in an ideal position to
guide C-SPAN into its next generation."
The succession was actually teed up back in 2006, when
Kennedy and Swain were named co-presidents, billed as "an important step
towards an eventual transition to new corporate leadership." Kennedy and
Swain had been executive VP's and chief operating officers before that
C-SPAN launched its first channel in 1979 and has become
must-see TV for political junkies. Lamb has headed up the channel since he put
it together in 1978 while bureau chief for Titsch Publishing. That was a year
after the House agreed to open up its proceedings to TV.
According to C-SPAN, the board unanimously agreed to the change back in September. It was announced Monday to coincide with the 33rd anniversary of the channel (March 19). April 1 is the beginning of C-SPAN's next fiscal quarter.
"Brian Lamb's extraordinary impact on the cable industry and American democracy cannot be understated, and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his innovation, leadership and service," said National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Michael Powell in a statement. "Brian's vision for C-SPAN opened our nation's democratic process to millions of Americans, allowing citizens to become better educated, engaged and aware of how Congress and the federal government operate. Brian will be missed. We're pleased, however, that veteran C-SPAN executives Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain will carry on with his legacy and further burnish C-SPAN as a national treasure."
C-SPAN was created by the cable industry as a public service.
"We have complementary skills," Kennedy told Multichannel News/B&C. "I am more the hardware side and Susan is the software side. Susan mostly focuses on the content and the marketing. I focus on infrastructure. We've been doing this for 20 years in very similar roles, so we have developed a very good working relationship."
"I don't think our jobs, per se, are changing," said Swain. "I think what is different is that Brian has been the public face of the network for 35 years and he would like to move out of that role."