Bill Clark

Starz president leads 28% net sales increase

Company: Starz Home Entertainment

Title: President

Leadership: Overseeing labels like Anchor Bay and Manga worldwide, Clark has led Starz’s new DVD unit — just purchased for it by parent company Liberty Media from IDT Corp. last year — to a 28% net sales increase over 2006, with the average number of retail SKUs up 25-30% from last year.

Clark — who accepted the Starz homevid helm in May after serving as its g.m. and exec VP — has also added a dedicated rental force to the division, which had largely existed as a sell-through-only business.

With its rental receipts more than doubled, the company is primed for higher-profile releases like the Jeff Goldblum-fronted “Pittsburgh,” horror film “Hatchet” (which sees a theatrical run in September) and the star-studded improv comedy “The Grand.”

The DVD division has diversified with evergreen fitness titles like the “Leslie Sansone Walk at Home” series, which is sold within the sporting goods section at big-box retailers like Target, as well as at specialty shops new to the DVD business.

Starz adds high-def into its mix this fall, beginning with a Blu-ray boxed set of the “Masters of Horror” TV series. Also in the works are new programs with Vongo, Starz’s digital download service.

POV: “We’re very aggressive in looking at store demographics and linking them to the demographics of our titles,” Clark says. “The consumer who wants fitness DVDs, for example, frequents a lot of other stores that traditionally don’t even carry DVD. We’ve been very successful in opening doors to these types of storefronts — and being able to demonstrate to them this incremental sales opportunity.”

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