EXCLUSIVE: After 26 years on his own, manager/producer Craig Baumgarten is becoming a partner at LINK, the management and production company formerly known as Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Nilon Entertainment. He becomes the sixth partner in the firm along with Brian Wilkins, Ben Levine, Erik Kritzer, Adam Griffin and Mike Nilon. He moved into the new office over the weekend, and his first day on the job is today.
Baumgarten brings with him clients Roland Joffe who is currently directing History Channel’s mini-series Texas Rising starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Brendan Fraiser, showrunner and director Ted Kotcheff (Law And Order SVU), singer/actress Toni Braxton, actor and director Peter Weller, Dolph Lundgren, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, and actor Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight, Why Did I Get Married 1 and 2).
“It’s a great, exciting group of young managers to work with,” said Baumgarten. “I really didn’t think I’d go into business with anyone, but it gives me the opportunity to do more productions and help build writer/director side of the business with the guys already here. We’re going to be aggressive about putting film and TV projects together for our clients. There’s a lot of room right now in the independent film world.”
The talent management/prod. company also has a book division with upcoming titles that include client Ron Perlman’s memoir Easy Street (The Hard Way) at Da Capo, Cary Elwes’ As You Wish at Simon & Schuster, Burt Reynolds untitled memoir at Penguin, and Ashley Richards’ Get Your Sh!T Together at Harlequin. The company also produced Tia & Tamera with their client Tia Mowry.
Baumgarten, who most recently finished production on the indie Skin Trade, was a former studio executive, once serving as executive VP of Columbia Pictures, executive VP of 20th Century Fox, VP of Paramount and president of Lorimar. During that time, he oversaw such feature productions including Sophie’s Choice, Ghostbusters and Die Hard.