Peter Barton, Liberty Media Corp.'s founding president, died Sept. 8 after a
long bout with stomach cancer. He was 51.
In what turned out to be his last public appearance, Barton surfaced at MTV:
Music Television's 2002 Video Music Awards in New York Aug. 29 during a
trip arranged for his family by MTV Networks executives and Starz Encore Group
LLC CEO John Sie. During a commercial break, MTV personality Carson Daly
acknowledged Barton's efforts at Tele-Communications Inc., one of several places
he served before coming aboard at Liberty, to expand MTV's distribution.
Barton 'was critically important in building [Liberty] into what it was,'
Liberty chairman John Malone said in a prepared statement. 'He was a hell of a
lot of fun and a breath of fresh air. I'm going to miss him.'
Malone signed Barton for his first cable-industry role in 1982 with TCI, then
the nation's largest cable operator, as head of franchise negotiations.
Four years later, TCI launched Cable Value Network, a home shopping service
rival to first mover Home Shopping Network (which went national one year
earlier) with Barton presiding. In time, Cable Value Network became second to
HSN in sales revenue, but it eventually merged with QVC Network Inc.
Barton served with Liberty from 1991 through 1997, leaving to launch a
private investment firm, as well as the Privacy Foundation at the University of
Denver, a watchdog group researching technology's impact on privacy matters.
Prior to his cable career, Barton served as aide to former New York Gov. Hugh
Carey and deputy commissioner for the state's agriculture department.
He is survived by his wife, Laura; three children; his mother; and two
A memorial ceremony will take place Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center in
Donations in his memory are encouraged to be sent to The Denver Foundation
and The Children's Hospital Foundation, both city-based