Peter Barton, founding prexy-CEO of cable programmer Liberty Media as well as a political aide and later a privacy advocate, died of stomach cancer Sept. 8 in Denver. He was 51.
Barton became a professional skier after earning a degree in economics from Columbia U. in 1972. He relocated to Washington, D.C., and quickly moved up the political ladder, becoming a top aide to then-N.Y. Gov. Hugh Carey.
In 1979, Barton’s interests drew him into the business world while he pursued a master’s degree in business administration at the Harvard Business School. Upon graduation, Barton joined cable company Tele-Communications where he negotiated nationwide cable franchises for the growing company and was promoted to prexy of TCI’s Cable Values Network, which later evolved into the QVC Shopping Network.
In 1991, Barton signed on as founding president of TCI spinoff Liberty Media Corp., which would eventually be at the forefront of cable programming.
He retired from Liberty in 1997 to start a private investment firm and devote more time to his family. Among his later accomplishments, he had developed the Privacy Foundation at the U. of Denver, a watchdog group protecting and researching the impact of technology on consumer privacy.
He will be inducted next month into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in New York City along with Don Imus, Bob Schieffer, Kelsey Grammer and Oprah Winfrey.
He is survived by wife Laura, three children, his mother and two brothers.
A memorial service will be held 6 p.m. Tuesday at the City of Lights Pavilion at the Pepsi Center in Denver,
Donations may be made to the Denver Foundation, 950 S. Cherry Street, Suite 200, Denver, CO. 80246