VH1, Pocket book ‘Behind the Music’ deal

More media established by contract

VH1 has signed a deal with its sister company Pocket Books to publish a series of volumes tied to the network’s most popular TV series, “Behind the Music.”

“This contract will help us to extend the brand of the series into other media,” says Ann Sarnoff, executive VP of business strategy and program enterprises for VH1.

Kara Welsh, deputy publisher of Pocket Books, said, “This is just a continuation of the books we already publish with MTV — we’re bringing out the sixth ‘Real World’ book this November.”

All three companies — MTV, VH1 and Pocket Books — are divisions of Viacom.

Willie Nelson tune-up

The first book in the “VH1 Behind the Music” publishing venture is a biography of Willie Nelson, to be released in book stores next week as a trade paperback.

The next two books in the series will be “1968,” based on a “Behind the Music” special dealing with the events of that year, and “The Day the Music Died,” from another “BTM” report on the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper.

Welsh calls many of these works “fan books,” meaning that they probably won’t get reviewed in such outlets as the New York Times Book Review.

Sarnoff says Pocket will get the permission of the principals for any biographies that get published — VH1 is not looking to produce unauthorized, tell-all volumes.

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