Starz Revamps Affiliate Sales, Marketing Units

Last week's retirement of Starz Encore Group LLC distribution president Que Spaulding, and the subsequent appointment of former Comcast Corp. executive Bob Clasen, prompted a reorganization of the programmer's affiliate sales and marketing departments.

Clasen will take on the newly created post of president of Starz Encore sales and marketing, effective July 21. He has recently served in interim chairman roles at Broadband Innovations and Vivid Technologies, as part of Clasen Associates.

He had been chairman of ICTV Inc. from 2000 to 2001 and was a longtime Comcast Corp. executive, serving as president of Comcast Cable Communications Inc. from 1984 to 1989.

Spaulding — who will remain during a transition period until year-end — had overseen all its sales and affiliate relations, but not the marketing department, which had reported to senior vice president Jillaina Wachendorf since early 2002. That move was triggered by the departure of Mike Hale as marketing chief.

Wachendorf was also elevated last week to executive vice president of sales and affiliate marketing. She and Spaulding had reported to Starz Encore president Mark Bauman, but she will now report to Clasen.

Citing the importance of continuing to drive penetration for its various networks, Bauman said in a prepared statement, "Marketing and affiliate relations have to be one and the same in the next generation of growth."

In other changes, the premium programmer's consumer marketing, research, analysis and strategy and corporate communications departments now also report to Clasen. Wachendorf, who has been with the company since 1991, previously had oversight of those disciplines.

Spaulding, has been with Starz Encore since 1990.