John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media LLC, arrives for the morning sessions during the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

John Malone to Leave Charter Board as Billionaire Pares Back Schedule

(Bloomberg) -- John Malone is beginning to step back from the industry he helped build.

The 77-year-old media magnate said Tuesday that he’ll retire as a director of cable giant Charter Communications Inc., about a week after he announced his departure from the board of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

Malone, who earned the nickname “Cable Cowboy” because of his decades of influence over the pay-TV industry, will remain a director emeritus at Charter and attend meetings, but he won’t vote on board matters. The billionaire, who sits on numerous boards, is trying to pare back a famously busy schedule.

“I am retiring from the board of Charter to reduce my travel and focus on fewer board positions,” Malone said in a statement.

Malone’s Liberty Broadband nominated James E. Meyer, the chief executive officer of Sirius XM Holdings Inc., to replace him on the board. Liberty Broadband shares fell as much as 2.1 percent in New York trading Wednesday, while Charter dropped as much as 2.4 percent.

In another sign that Malone is lowering his profile, he wasn’t spotted at this month’s annual Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. For years, he’d been a regular attendee at the gathering of moguls.

Malone created Liberty Media in 1991 as a spinoff of ­Tele-Communications Inc., which he sold to AT&T Corp. in 1999 for $48 billion. Over the past decade, Liberty has expanded through a series of big investments, including bets on satellite-radio company Sirius, Charter and Formula One. Liberty Media also has a stake in concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and owns the Atlanta Braves baseball team.

Malone’s media influence extends to Europe. He’s also chairman of Liberty Global Plc, a pay-TV provider in the region.

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