Ramage Drama Ends at Bienstock

Dec 9, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The announcement that Rick Ramage had been hired to represent TV news and hosting talent by New York-based N.S. Bienstock, the powerful agency headed by Richard Leibner and wife Carole Cooper, quietly closed the door on the mystery surrounding his abrupt exit several weeks ago from the Los Angeles-based Ken Lindner & Associates after nine years.
Mr. Ramage, 37, was an Emmy-winning producer and assignment editor at KTLA-TV in L.A. prior to joining Lindner, where he built a roster of local-turned-national talent that ranged from “Today’s” Natalie Morales and NBC News correspondent Michelle Kosinski to “Entertainment Tonight”/”The Insider” contributor Thomas Roberts, the former anchor at CNN Headline News who came out as a gay man and as a victim of abuse by a Catholic priest.
Mr. Ramage, whose wife, two young daughters and two dogs won’t make the move to New York City until early spring, talked with TelevisionWeek National Editor Michele Greppi last week while he was in Manhattan meeting his new colleagues.
It turns out that Mr. Ramage, while still a college student in the early ’90s, worked for a week as a field producer for a trade TV show produced by this publication’s predecessor, Electronic Media, at a Radio-Television News Directors Association convention. And he’s looking forward to the next chapter in his career, but can’t say much about the end of the last chapter.
TelevisionWeek: What can you say about the drama that accompanied, or appeared, from the outside, to have accompanied, your leaving Ken Lindner?
Rick Ramage: We have a settlement.
TVWeek: Is drama your style?
Mr. Ramage: Oh, heck no. I’m very low maintenance. I work really hard for my clients and try to stay behind the scenes. I have zero drama in my life. I have never been in court in my entire life. I’ve never had an arbitration in my entire life. I didn’t even know an attorney in California, other than people in the business. This was the worst month of my life.
TVWeek: How many of your clients are you able to bring with you?
Mr. Ramage: They’re going to have a choice in the matter. I’m hoping the vast majority will come over with me to Bienstock.
TVWeek: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing you and your clients in this industry right now?
Mr. Ramage: I think my clients and myself are going to be in a much better situation because we’re going to have far more resources. In just my couple of days at Bienstock, I can tell how team-oriented everyone is. It’s a complete open-door policy. Everyone shares information. They have each other’s backs. I can just tell I’m going to have a lot more help here. I think we have the same values. I do think you have to do more with less in the industry right now. Every station, every network is asking more, whether they’re doing radio hits or online hits or doing live shots for other venues. Everybody’s being asked to do more with less. There are not as many job opportunities out there. Being an agent now is more and more challenging.
TVWeek: Here’s a question Katie Couric is asking the presidential candidates: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and what did you do about it, or learn from it?
Mr. Ramage: Stayed too long in a situation. I’m a really loyal person, and I’ve had a lot of other agencies approach me over the years. I just felt like Ken gave me a big chance. … It took something like this to push me—which is probably what I needed, because of my personality—there’s not a doubt in my mind I’m going to be in a much better place, much happier.


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