UPDATED: Syndication veteran Jim Paratore died today from a heart attack while on a cycling vacation in France. He was 58. Paratore most recently owned a production company, the Warner Bros. TV Group-based paraMedia, and was executive producer on syndicated TV magazine TMZ and daytime talker The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which he developed in his previous role as president of Warner Bros.’ Telepictures Prods. Paratore’s latest series, daily interactive game show Let’s Ask America, was just announced last week to run on Scripps stations in seven markets. Warner Bros. TV Group president Bruce Rosenblum said everyone at the company was shaken by the news of Paratore’s unexpected passing. “The Warner Bros. Television family has lost an incredibly talented and creative friend and colleague in Jim,” Rosenblum said. “He has left an indelible mark not only on our company’s success but on each of us who worked with him during the past 26 years. Jim had a passion for life, both inside and outside the entertainment industry, and he will truly be missed.”
Paratore spent almost two decades at Warner Bros. before leaving to launch paraMedia in 2006. In addition to serving as president of Telepictures since 1992, Paratore was named EVP, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution in 2002. During his time at the helm of Telepictures, Paratore built the division into a leading producer of daily syndicated series with such programs as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tyra Banks Show, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Jenny Jones, Judge Mathis, The People’s Court and Extra. He also established the company as a network reality series player with The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, High School Reunion, Steve Harvey’s Big Time, The Starlet and The Real Gilligan’s Island.
While at WBDTD, Paratore’s distribution responsibilities included oversight of the station sales activities. Prior to being named President of Telepictures, Paratore served for two years as SVP, Lorimar-Telepictures. Before that, he was SVP, First-Run Development, Lorimar-Telepictures from 1988 to1990 and VP, 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-TV (Alexandria, LA).