It wasn’t so long ago that Jeff Sagansky and Harry Sloan looked at buying into ICM together. They didn’t. But it was inevitable they’d pair up in the very near future. That time is now. I’m told that Sloan’s MGM has just agreed to an output deal with Sagansky’s showbiz companies. Yes, Jeff is about to reanimate as a Hollywood player, way beyond even Variety‘s 50-who-made-a-difference indie list of 2005.

“What ever happened to Sagansky?” was muttered after the one-time Sony and CBS and TriStar bigshot became exiled as CEO of Florida-based Paxson Communications. Hard to imagine which was worse: working for Sony during that top-to-bottom turmoil, or working for Pax during that nuttiness with NBC. After Sagansky left, he gambled on ex-Sony TV honcho Jon Feltheimer and invested in Lions Gate (and made a killing). Then Sagansky partnered up with Kerry McLuggage (ex-Paramount TV), which they’d talked about for 20 years. They’ve invested in or bought up two entertainment companies to reclaim the lower end of the movie market. Obviously MGM’s Sloan is on board with that strategy.

Welcome back, at least existentially. And, remember, it’s Sir Howard now.