Wilderness expanding

Farber's company leaps ahead

NEW YORK — Matt Farber will use his experience as a former exec veep at MTV and VH1 and as founder of MTV’s Logo network to expand his Wilderness Media & Entertainment into businesses dedicated to reaching gays and lesbians.

Farber’s company has engineered the following moves:

  • It has bought an equity stake in Instinct Publishing, the parent of Instinct magazine, which is aimed at gay male readers and has a monthly paid circulation of 85,000.

  • It has created weekly syndicated radio program “Twist,” which will feature segments on music, entertainment and lifestyles. “Twist” will run on both AM/FM radio stations and on the AOL radio network, which will stream its content to computer users.

  • It is setting up a talent-management division to represent gay and lesbian performers.

Farber said the talent-rep part of his company is an example of the cross-pollination he wants to nurture among all of the Wilderness divisions. His first client is Russ King, whose stage name is Miss Richfield 1981.

While King continues to appear onstage, Farber has signed a deal with Optomen Prods. for a proposed TV series to be called “Miss Richfield Saves America.” As Miss Richfield, King also will write a regular advice column for Instinct magazine.

The host of “Twist,” whom Farber declined to name, also will write a monthly column for Instinct and will host a different series for Logo, whose programming is geared toward gays and lesbians.

Farber said he’ll continuing to consult with Judy McGrath, chair and chief exec of MTV Networks, about “exploring and developing television-programming businesses” allied with Logo.

While running Wilderness, Farber was executive consultant for Viacom for the four years leading up the launch of Logo, which takes place June 30.

Before Wilderness, Farber spent a year as prexy-CEO of Internet music company Tanos Entertainment. From 1991-99, Farber held a number of executive positions at MTV and VH1, rising to exec VP of programming enterprises for MTV and VH1 and general manager for MTV2/The Digital Suite.

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