Starz CEO Robert Clasen retiring

Exec launched Overture Films

NEW YORK -- Liberty Media's Starz LLC pay TV unit said Wednesday that chairman and CEO Robert Clasen will retire towards the end of the year.

Liberty will conduct a search for a new CEO, with Clasen remaining in his post until the post is filled.

"Bob has been critical in the transformation and success of Starz," said Liberty president and CEO Greg Maffei. "During his tenure, Starz grew subscribers, doubled cash flow, expanded original programming and added new services." Starz and Encore subscriber levels grew by 20% under Clasen's leadership, the company said.

Added Liberty chairman John Malone: "During his 40-year career in the industry, Bob has demonstrated his vision and management skills in every phase of the business."

Clasen said "Starz is well-positioned for success in the years ahead."

He joined Starz Entertainment in 2003 and assumed the position of CEO of Starz LLC after Liberty acquired the entertainment assets of IDT Corp. in 2006, creating Starz Media.

Clasen in recent years launched the new movie studio Overture Films and led the development of original programming for the firm's channels, including the new series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," which will premiere in January.