Homevid Leader Report
Title: Independent consultant
How he’s leading: Four years after Warner Bros. sacked its longtime homevid chieftain, he’s become an entrepreneur, advising an eclectic array of clients about technology, retail and home entertainment. Lieberfarb, the driving force behind the development of DVD, clearly is enjoying the change of pace.
“I’ve been reinvigorated,” he says with a chuckle.
Among his clients are Toshiba, Brazilian consumer electronics concern Gradiente, producers Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin plus the Weinsteins. He’s also advised Microsoft, Best Buy, EMI, Discovery and Disney.
Though he’s mellowed since his 19 years at the helm of Warner homevid, Lieberfarb still has definite opinions about home entertainment issues, ranging from hi-def DVD to collapsing VOD windows.
While lamenting the hi-def format war — which many a vid bizzer believes Lieberfarb would have steered the industry past if he were still at Warner — he also proposes a premium home cinema VOD window four to six weeks after pics have bowed at theaters.
That strategy, he maintains, would protect the DVD window while enabling studios to make greater margins.
Meanwhile, the consultant is lining up private
equity coin to finance acquisitions. “I’m looking for the needle in the haystack: good projects the studios have missed,” he says.
He became involved with Perenchio and Yorkin when Warner’s homevideo rights to “Blade Runner” were about to expire; the pic has just been reissued.
Lieberfarb started his career at Ford Motor Co., then served stints at Paramount and Fox before joining Warners in 1975.
POV: “I’m very interested in people who have reinvented themselves,” Lieberfarb says, citing former Warner colleague Terry Semel and Haim Saban. “I find myself with credibility in a wide array of circles.”
Homevid Leader Report: