Execs to form multimedia production shingle
Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun — former business rivals when they headed up Fox and ABC, respectively — have partnered to launch a multimedia production shingle.The former Par prexy and Yahoo! media/entertainment chief are forming BermanBraun, a TV-focused production company with strong film and Internet components. Discussions with a wide array of network and studio players have already begun. But rather than strike a deal with one conglom, BermanBraun is believed to favor the indie model of 1990s powerhouse Carsey-Werner, albeit with outside financing. That could mean forging several strategic alliances, both with traditional companies and alternative players, such as a Internet portal. Some logical partners come to mind. Berman has maintained a good relationship with New Regency chief Arnon Milchan; Braun is known to be tight with NBC Universal’s Jeff Zucker. BermanBraun will likely try to incorporate an Internet component into projects from their conception. Same goes with advertising partners, who may be brought on at the beginning of a project’s creation rather than after it’s already scheduled for broadcast. Several other major TV players –including Mark Burnett, Ben Silverman and Michael Davies — are already working under just such a business model. News of the venture comes just weeks after Berman resigned as president of Paramount Pictures after only 18 months on the job. At the time, Berman made it clear that she had no intention of leaving the film biz entirely. Braun ankled Yahoo! in December, after about two years on the job. Berman and Braun have known each other for years and are said to have become friendly when both were still working in TV. Both former execs also have backgrounds in hands-on TV production. Before joining Fox, Berman produced TV hits such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.” She also played a key role in developing “Malcolm in the Middle” while at Regency TV. Braun headed up both Brillstein-Grey and Touchstone Television before moving over to ABC. Both Berman and Braun declined comment. (Pamela McClintock contributed to this report.)
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