People For the American Way

The Third Act with Josh Sapan: People For the American Way Book Club

People For in Action

People For the American Way President Svante Myrick sat down with longtime People For Board Member, author, and former Chief Executive Officer of AMC Networks Josh Sapan to talk about his book The Third Act: Reinventing Your Next Chapter.

About The Third Act: Reinventing Your Next Chapter

With more than 60 beautiful portrait photographs and profiles of notable people who are redefining conventional retirement and living their most productive and thrilling new chapters later in life, The Third Act celebrates aging in all its grace, excitement, accomplishments, and discovery.

The Third Act explores a new way to think about what you do later in life. The book features profiles of 60 people who are doing it differently, including People For cofounder Norman Lear and longtime friends like Dolores Huerta. From names you’ll know to those you’ve never heard of, these life stories and beautiful photographic portraits will encourage readers to bring their passions and capabilities to life at a time when many are conventionally retiring.

About Josh Sapan

Josh Sapan was CEO of AMC Networks for 26 years until 2021, where he now has an arrangement to produce independent films for the company.

He joined AMC Networks in 1987, was named CEO in 1995 and Executive Vice Chairman in 2021. Sapan led the company’s successful spin-off from Cablevision Systems Corporation in June 2011, when AMC Networks began trading as a separate public company on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

During his tenure, Sapan evolved the business from a collection of U.S. cable channels showcasing classic movies to a company known for original programming. He is credited with building some of television’s most influential entertainment shows, including AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” and “Better Call Saul;” BBC AMERICA’s “Killing Eve”; IFC’s “Portlandia” and “Documentary Now!;” and SundanceTV’s “Rectify” and “Top of the Lake.”

A champion of new voices, Sapan has brought independent film to wide audiences through IFC Films, supporting the early work of directors Lena Dunham, Barry Jenkins, Richard Linklater, Mira Nair, Christopher Nolan and Lynn Shelton, among others. In 2005, he opened the brick-and-mortar IFC Center.

Sapan moved the company early on into the targeted streaming business with the launch of Sundance Now in 2014 and the horror-centric Shudder in 2015; the 2018 acquisition of the urban orientated ALLBLK and British-focused Acorn TV; and the 2020 launch of AMC+. The success of these services now makes the company a leader in the targeted streaming business.

Sapan has received a wide range of honors including induction into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, NATPE’s Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, the Paley Prize for Innovation and Excellence, and The Media Institute’s Freedom of Speech Award for his contributions to the advancement and protection of free speech.

Sapan serves on the boards of The American Film Institute, The Museum of the Moving Image, New York Public Radio, The New School, The Public Theatre and People for the American Way.

He is the author of four books: “Cable TV” published by Putnam, “The Big Picture: America in Panorama”, and “Third Act,” both from Princeton Architectural Press, and “RX”, a book of poetry to be published by Red Hen Press in 2023.


American Way, People For the American Way Book Club