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Starz Expands Marketing Group

Action and anime broadcaster Starz Encore Group LLC (Starz) promoted one marketing executive, Lauren Ruetz, and added three others, Gery English, Matt Emmons and Clif Watkins.

Ruetz moves up from director of media strategy to marketing manager/media buying, and reports to David Charmatz, svp research, analysis and strategy. Ruetz is responsible for developing and implementing Starz' national, local and trade advertising strategies. "Ruetz joined Starz in 2002 and her media expertise has been an incredible asset. I am pleased to announce this well-deserved promotion," said Charmatz. "Her pursuit of both the most creative and efficient media solutions has increased the effectiveness of our affiliate programs as well as our branding efforts."

Ruetz is a 20-year veteran in the research, development and implementation of media communications programs. Ruetz was vp/media director for Thomas and Perkins in Denver.

English is the new senior director brand strategy to lead the implementation of the STARZ! image campaign in 2005. English has 20+ years of brand development and experience in managing fully integrated campaigns for clients including Target, Apple Computer, Chrysler and TED, United Airline's new low cost operation. He has worked for advertising agencies such as Martin Williams, Rapp Collins and McClain Finlon. English reports to Kelly Bumann, vp, strategic marketing.

As well as branding efforts, English will lead the project management of the broader brand rollout across internal communications groups, affiliates, on air and internal employees.

Emmons joins Starz as the director of new product strategy, also reporting to Bumann. He will lead marketing strategy and program development for Starz On Demand, working closely with Starz affiliate teams. Additionally, Emmons will be assisting Starz distribution partners in creating programs to drive usage and lower customer turnover. Emmons was the director of advanced video products for Adelphia Communications.

Watkins, formerly director video product management with Comcast, joins Starz as director of affiliate marketing and will report to Nigel Sonariwo, group director of affiliate marketing. Watkins will direct consumer and affiliate marketing strategies.

Watkins was director of video product management with Comcast Communications, Colorado Region, and has won the CTAM Mark Award (twice) and Beacon Award.

"These are critical promotions/additions to our marketing group as we finalize the development of our brand and new product development strategy," Bumann said. "We are thrilled to have people with specialized backgrounds in these core areas to build upon our department's expertise."

Sonariwo added, "The vast industry knowledge of these four individuals is invaluable to our marketing efforts as Starz grows. I speak for the entire marketing group when I say we are very happy to have all of them on our team."

Englewood, Colorado-based Starz Encore Group LLC (Starz) is the largest provider of premium movie services in the U.S. with approximately 154 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(SM), Encore HD(SM), and Starz On Demand HD(SM). Starz Encore (www.starzencore.com) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp.

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