Liberty Media began in 1991 as a spin-off of TCI, an American cable-television group. Peter Barton, hired by TCI’s Malone, served as president until retiring in April 1997 to start an investment firm and spend time with his family. TCI was a cable television provider in the United States, for much of its history controlled by Bob Magness and John Malone.
The company came into being in 1968, following the merger of Western Microwave, Inc. and Community Television, Inc. It was the largest cable operator in the United States at one time.
After going public in 1970 (ticker NASDAQ:TCOMA), the company grew rapidly, and became the top cable provider in the United States. After a failed merger attempt with Bell Atlantic in 1994, [1] it was purchased in 1999 by AT&T, whose cable television assets were later acquired by Charter Communications and the Comcast Corporation. Liberty Media holds a 15% share of the History Channel.