Robert B. Clasen to step down at end of year

Starz chairman-CEO Robert B. Clasen has announced his retirement, effective at the end of the year.

“Bob has been critical in the transformation and success of Starz,” said Greg Maffei, prexy-CEO of Starz parent Liberty Media. “During his tenure, Starz grew subscribers, doubled cash flow, expanded original programming and added new services.”

A 40-year veteran of the industry (including a stint as president of Comcast), Clasen has been with Starz since 2003 and became CEO in 2004. Subscription levels for sister networks Starz and Encore have grown 20% during his tenure.

Overture Films launched under Clasen’s watch in 2006, producing such films as 2008 indie faves “The Visitor” and “Last Chance Harvey,” as well as TV series including “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” which will premiere on Starz in January.

Clasen said he will stay with Starz until its search for a new CEO is completed.

“No job has provided a greater measure of excitement and satisfaction,” Clasen said.

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