Starz Encore Launches a Media Review

LOS ANGELES Premium movie channel Starz Encore Group has launched a review for its media buying business, the client confirmed. Sources estimated the account to be worth $30 million.

Incumbent Havas’ MPG in New York, has been invited to defend, said Tom Southwick, vice president, corporate communications at the Englewood, Colo., cable network. Southwick said the decision to review was sparked by a new joint marketing agreement with cable systems operator Comcast; the news today that Starz is launching Encore HD March 22 on Voom, the Cablevision high-definition network; and the hiring today of cable marketing consultant Jerry Maglio, 57, as executive vp, marketing for the company. Maglio replaces Jillaina Wachendorf, who left earlier this year.

Starz Encore’s ad spending has been up and down in the past two years, from a high of $40 million in 2002 to $3 million last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Creative, handled by Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco, is unaffected, Southwick said.