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Paratore Takes Development Deal With Warner Bros.

Aug 22, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Jim Paratore, president of Telepictures Productions and executive VP of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, is stepping down from the executive ranks to form a television production company, paraMedia inc., which will have an exclusive overall deal with the Warner Bros. Television Group.

The announcement comes a day after Mr. Paratore’s boss, Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution President Dick Robertson, announced he was retiring.

ParaMedia will have a primary focus on first-run syndicated programming, produced in association with Telepictures Productions. The company will also produce prime-time nonscripted reality programs and low-budget scripted series in association with the recently founded Warner Horizon Television, as well as new media content for digital platforms, such as the Telepictures-produced entertainment gossip Web site TMZ.com. Mr. Paratore is expected to start developing for the 2007-08 season.

For months it was rumored Mr. Paratore was looking for a top-level syndication job at rival studios, but the new deal with Warner Bros. keeps him in place at the studio, though not as a successor to Mr. Robertson. Warner Bros. is expected to announce a replacement for Mr. Robertson on Wednesday.

Aside from starting up paraMedia, Mr. Paratore will become an executive producer of Telepictures’ Emmy-winning daytime talker “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” alongside current executive producers Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin, Andy Lassner and Ellen DeGeneres. “Ellen” was recently renewed by the NBC-owned and -operated television stations in 10 markets through the 2009-10 season. In addition to developing new shows, he will continue to be involved in the development of TMZ.com.

“Jim possesses the unique talents of a strong businessman, fierce salesman, astute producer and innovative creator,” said Bruce Rosenblum, president of Warner Bros. Television Group, in a statement. “His 19-year tenure at Warner Bros. and Telepictures speaks for itself through such hits as ‘The Bachelor,’ ‘The Rosie O’Donnell Show,’ ‘Ellen,’ ‘Extra’ and more. I can think of no better person than Jim to seamlessly segue from a TV executive to an entrepreneurial producer.”

“As the media landscape continues to evolve, the one constant is content,” Mr. Paratore said in a statement.” This company will enable me to be entrepreneurial and develop content across the entire spectrum during this exciting time, and I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be able to do it in partnership with all of the great people at Warner Bros.”

Mr. Paratore served as president of Telepictures Productions since the company’s inception in 1992. During that time, he was credited with building the nonscripted production division into a top producer of first-run syndicated and network prime-time reality programs. In 2002, Mr. Paratore assumed the additional title of executive VP for Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, expanding his responsibilities to include the day-to-day oversight of the company’s distribution operations of first-run and off-network programming. Under his leadership, the company launched five first-run strips in four years, including “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Tyra Banks Show.” In addition, he oversaw the domestic syndication sales of “Two and a Half Men,” “Sex and the City,” “George Lopez,” “Without a Trace” and “Cold Case,” as well as numerous Warner Bros. movie packages.

Prior to Telepictures, Mr. Paratore served for two years as senior VP of Lorimar-Telepictures. Before that, he was senior VP of first-run development and VP of production for the company. Before joining Lorimar-Telepictures in 1987, Mr. Paratore was director of programming and production at WTVJ-TV and program director at WPLG-TV, both in Miami. He also served as advertising and promotion manager for WJXT-TV in Jacksonville, Fla., and for KALB-TV in Alexandria, La.