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New HBO Sports boss: ex-Showtime Sports head Hershman

October 13, 2011 |  1:27 pm

HboHBO Sports has replaced the resigned Ross Greenburg as president, selecting Showtime Sports President Ken Hershman, boxing officials confirmed Thursday.

Hershman is scheduled to assume his duties in January, according to an HBO official.

Hershman's major triumphs at Showtime included landing the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley bout in May, which included cross-promotion on CBS platforms. He also brought HBO's "Inside the NFL" to his premium cable network, and aired mixed-martial arts fighting from the organization Strikeforce.

Greenburg, who presided over HBO's standing as the top boxing viewership destination while supplementing the coverage with a reality series, "24/7," along with award-winning sports documentaries, resigned in the summer after losing Pacquiao -- the sport's top draw.

HBO responded by getting Pacquiao back for his Nov. 12 bout against Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.

Showtime spokesman Chris DeBlasio confirmed Hershman's departure after a report by The Ring, saying Hershman "left to pursue other opportunities." He added sports programming remains an important part of Showtime's lineup.

The network will air the finale of Hershman's "Super Six" super-middleweight tournament in December -- an event beset by injuries and delays -- and a December rematch pitting Showtime bantamweight tournament finalists Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko at Anaheim's Honda Center.

Hershman was not immediately available for comment and HBO declined to provide a statement on the hiring.

Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White said Hershman's MMA background means "nothing" to White as it pertains to a possible future deal to place UFC fights on HBO or its pay-per-view arm.

"I'm right where I want to be," White said in a text message to The Times, referring to the organization's own pay-per-view business and its new seven-year deal to broadcast fights on Fox and FX. "Couldn't be any better, and I couldn't be happier."

--Lance Pugmire