Ending months of rumors, Telepictures President Jim Paratore is leaving the Warner Bros. executive ranks to form his own production company.
Paratore, who is also the No. 2 executive at Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, will launch a full-service television production company, paraMedia inc.
It will have an exclusive overall deal with the Warner Bros. Television Group, Bruce Rosenblum, president of the Warner Bros. Television Group announced Tuesday.
paraMedia will have a primary focus on first-run syndicated programming, produced in association with Telepictures. It will also produce primetime non-scripted reality programs and low-budget scripted series in association with the recently founded Warner Horizon Television, a new low-cost division that took over responsibility for prime time reality fare recently. Paratore will also work on new media content for digital platforms (such as the Telepictures-produced TMZ.com, a 24/7 on-demand entertainment news network on the Web).
As his first order of business, Paratore will become an executive producer of Telepictures’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show alongside current executive producers Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin, Andy Lassner and Ellen DeGeneres.
Paratore had been rumored for months to be considering another gig in which he would have a piece of the action.
No word on a replacement for Paratore, although his No. 2 executive, Hilary Estey McLoughlin, executive vice president & general manager of Telepictures, is considered a strong bet.
Announcement comes a day after Warner Bros. announced that longtime TV distribution president Dick Robertson would be leaving to become a senior consultant. An announcement will be coming soon about his replacement.
In addition to developing new shows, Paratore will continue to be involved in the development of TMZ.com.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to align ourselves with Jim as he launches his new company,” said Rosenblum.“Jim possesses the unique talents of a strong businessman, fierce salesman, astute producer and innovative creator. 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.He clearly has the talent, experience and relationships to make paraMedia the next TV powerhouse among Warner Bros.’ roster of hit makers.”
“Starting my own production company is the best way to utilize everything I’ve learned over the last 20-plus years in the television business,” said Paratore.“As the media landscape continues to evolve, the one constant is content. 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.”
paraMedia is expected to have series in development for the 2007-2008 television season.
Prior to founding paraMedia, Paratore has held positions in local television station management, series development and production and, most recently, in television distribution, where he has most recently served as President, Telepictures Productions and Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
Paratore served as President of Telepictures Productions since its inception in 1992.During that time, he was credited with building the non-scripted production division into one of the industry's top producers of first-run syndicated and network primetime reality programs, responsible for some 17 syndicated strips, including long-running shows like “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Extra,” “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” “Jenny Jones,” “Change of Heart,” “elimiDATE” and “Street Smarts”; 12 primetime reality series, including the perennial franchise “The Bachelor”; and, most recently, launching the successful TMZ.com in partnership with AOL.
Telepictures Productions’ series have received more than 40 Daytime Emmys, including Outstanding Talk Show eight of the last nine years.
In 2002, Paratore assumed the additional title of Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, expanding his responsibilities to include the day-to-day oversight of one of the industry’s largest distribution operations of first-run and off-network programming.
Prior to being named President, Telepictures Productions, Paratore served for two years as Senior Vice President, Lorimar-Telepictures.Before that, he was Senior Vice President, First-Run Development, Lorimar-Telepictures from 1988 to 1990 and Vice President, Production, Lorimar-Telepictures from 1987 to 1988.
Prior to joining Lorimar-Telepictures in 1987, Paratore was Director, Programming and Production at WTVJ-TV (Miami); Program Director at WPLG-TV (Miami); and served as Advertising and Promotion Manager at WJXT-TV (Jacksonville, FL) and at KALB-