Former Liberty Media President, Peter Barton, Dies; 1951 - 2002

Sep 09, 2002, 01:00 ET from Starz Encore Group LLC

    DENVER, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Peter Barton, an entrepreneur who made his
 name in cable television and later became a privacy advocate, died
 Sunday morning in Denver at the age of 51.  He passed away in his home, with
 his family at his side, after a struggle with stomach cancer.
     Barton was a modern day Renaissance man -- an accomplished businessman,
 professional skier, piano-player and devoted husband and father.  For his
 efforts in cable-TV, he is scheduled to be inducted into the industry's Hall
 of Fame at a ceremony on November 11.
     After earning a degree in economics from Columbia University in 1972, he
 became a professional skier on the slopes of the Rockies.  After two years, he
 moved to Washington, where he began working in politics.  In 1975, he became a
 deputy commissioner in the New York State department of agriculture, and then
 quickly rose to become a top aide to then-Governor Hugh Carey.
     "Peter was a real sparkplug, filled with energy and optimism when we
 needed it in New York," said former Governor Hugh Carey on Sunday.  "The
 tougher the job the better he did it."  Barton later befriended one of Carey's
 sons, Paul, who also had cancer, and conversed with him frequently until his
 death last year.  "You could talk to Peter about anything," Mr. Carey said
     In 1979, eager to enter the world of business, Barton left politics and
 enrolled in Harvard Business School.  After earning a master's degree in
 business administration in 1982, he joined cable company Tele-Communications
 Inc. at the behest of TCI president John C. Malone, and for the next four
 years, negotiated cable franchises nationwide for the growing company.  In
 1986, Barton became president of TCI's Cable Value Network, which would evolve
 into the QVC shopping network, one of the dominant brands in cable television.
 In 1991, Barton became the founding president of TCI spin off Liberty Media
 Corp., which would eventually own stakes in dozens of cable-TV's most popular
 networks.  Barton struck many of the deals that placed Liberty at the
 forefront of programming.
     "Peter was there at the inception of Liberty Media, and its subsequent
 versions, and he was critically important in building it into what it was,"
 John C. Malone, chairman of Liberty Media Corp., said on Sunday.  "He was a
 hell of a lot of fun -- a breath of fresh air.  I'm going to miss him."
     In April 1997, Barton resigned from Liberty, started a private investment
 firm and began to spend more time with his family.  Barton's decision to focus
 on his family was "testimony to his love and loyalty for his family," said
 Malone.  Most recently, Barton had developed the Privacy Foundation at the
 University of Denver, an independent watchdog group protecting consumer
 privacy that researched the impact of technology in privacy issues.
     Peter Barton is survived by his wife, Laura, and three children, Kate,
 Jeffery and Christopher, all of Denver.  He is also survived by his mother,
 Hanna Jane Barton of Bethesda, Md, and two brothers, John A. Barton of
 Bethesda, and Thomas W. Barton of Harbeson, Del.
     A memorial celebration is scheduled for Tuesday, September 17 in Denver at
 the City Lights Pavilion at the Pepsi Center at 6:00 p.m.
     In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:
       The Denver Foundation
       950 S. Cherry Street, Suite 200
       Denver, CO 80246
       David Miller
       The Children's Hospital Foundation
       1245 E. Colfax Ave. Suite 400
       Denver, CO  80218
       Steve Winsett

SOURCE Starz Encore Group LLC