Liberty Media Corporation announced the promotion of Robert B. Clasen has been promoted to the post of president/ceo of Starz Entertainment Group Llc., effective December 1, 2004. Clasen had been president/coo and replaces Mark Bauman who is retiring as interim ceo.
"Bob Clasen has proven to be an extraordinarily effective leader for SEG," said Robert R. Bennett, Liberty Media president/ceo. "In little more than a year since he has come on board, the company has signed new affiliation agreements with seven of the company's largest distributors, executed a series of innovative and effective marketing campaigns with both satellite and cable affiliates, rolled out subscription video on demand to millions of new customers, launched the first premium subscription Internet service, brought in new leadership for key executive positions, and laid the groundwork for a new branding effort that will kick off early next year."
"Most important for our investors," Bennett added, "the result of these efforts has been two consecutive quarters of outstanding subscriber growth and sequential revenue growth after a year in which revenue and subscriber numbers had been essentially flat. In the past two quarters, SEG's flagship channel, Starz, has added 1.3 million new subscribers."
Clasen joined SEG in September of 2003 as president of sales and marketing and was promoted to president/coo in June of 2004 when company founder, chairman/ceo John J. Sie announced his retirement. A 30-year veteran of the cable industry, Clasen, 60, was president of Comcast Cable for five years and later was head of Comcast International. Prior to joining SEG, he had served as CEO of Comstream Corp., a provider of commercial satellite equipment, and ICTV, a developer of interactive technology for the cable industry.
Bennett noted that Clausenï¿½s appointment to the top spot at SEG marks the end of a 14-year period in which the company was started and run by Sie and Bauman. "John and Mark achieved what a lot of people thought was an impossible mission. They built a new premium television business that rejuvenated what most had assumed was a mature industry. It is reflective of their dedication to the company that before moving on to new ventures, they actively participated in the selection of an excellent team to take the company to its next level. All of us at Liberty Media wish John and Mark the very best with their future endeavors."
Sie said, "Bob's appointment as my successor will help transition SEG to the next level of growth and assures its pre-eminence and supremacy in a very competitive arena." He added, "In a short period of time since assuming the coo position, Bob has demonstrated his leadership, vision, and management skills in every phase of our business. He will be a great leader for SEG."
Starz is the largest provider of premium movie services in the U.S. with approximately 164 million pay units. Starz Encore offerings include the Starz Super Pak, with up to 13 digital movie channels and more than 750 movies per month, Starz On Demand, the only on-demand pay TV subscription service available on cable, satellite and broadband platforms, and a suite of advanced video offerings, including STARZ! HD, Encore HD and Starz On Demand HD. Starz Encore (www.starzencore.com) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp.
Englewood, Colorado-based Liberty Media Corp. (www.libertymedia.com) is a holding company owning interests in a broad range of electronic retailing, media, communications and entertainment businesses classified in four groups; Interactive, Networks, Tech/Ventures and Corporate. Liberty Media's businesses include some of the world's most recognized and respected brands, including QVC, Encore, STARZ!, Discovery, IAC/InterActiveCorp, and The News Corporation Ltd.