Name: Robert B. Clasen
Title: Chairman/CEO, Starz
Age: 63
Years in Industry: 33
Years left in Industry: “As long as it continues to be fun and challenging.”

 

Why Him? Though he spent part of this year embroiled in legal proceedings with Disney, Clasen found plenty of time to champion the HD On Demand initiative, an increasingly important weapon in cable’s arsenal as DirecTV keeps the pressure turned up on HD content. Starz HD On Demand, which launched last fall with 100 hours of programming per month – including 20 movies – on Comcast, expanded in both breadth and depth in 2007. Cox added the service in select markets in November, and Clasen is hoping to bring additional MSOs into the fold in ’08. For creating innovative ways to keep tech-savvy cable customers satisfied, our hat’s off to you, Bob.  CAO

 

I knew the cable industry was for me when: “I met Amos Hostetter and realized that this was a business run by people who genuinely cared about their customers and the communities they served.”
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “To take the lead in offering consumers a package of IP video services together with high speed cable modems.”
The coolest new cable tech is: “High Definition On Demand”
Person I most admire in the cable industry and why: “Ralph J. Roberts, a successful businessman and gentleman who always makes time for people.”
Biggest cable surprise of 2007: “The continued attempt by a Republican-led FCC to re-regulate and micromanage the cable industry.”
Top personal achievement in 2007: “The robust growth of Starz and Encore and launch of original programming on Starz.”
In my free time, I like to: “What free time?”
Favorite TV show: “24”
Favorite movie: American Graffiti
Favorite sports team: Cleveland Indians (next year, for sure)
I wish cable would: “Become more innovative in its packaging and more aggressive in offering Internet services.”
Favorite piece of tech: “Toshiba Gigabeat”

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