Steve Wohl to head up alternative programming

Paradigm is jumping into the reality TV world in a big way, hiring Steve Wohl to head up its alternative programming department.

Wohl joins Paradigm from ICM, where he spent 21 years — most recently as senior VP — before departing last week. At Paradigm, he’ll serve as head of worldwide alternative programming.

Wohl’s clients include “America’s Next Top Model” and “Pussycat Dolls Present” exec producer Ken Mok; Rocket Science Laboratories (“Trading Spouses,” “Joe Millionaire”); “Dancing With the Stars” exec producer Conrad Green; “America’s Got Talent” exec producer James Sunderland; and Scott Satin Prods. (“Meet My Folks,” “Who Wants to Be a Superhero”). Most will be joining him at Paradigm.

Move comes as Paradigm continues to grow its business, most recently launching a 10-person Artists Marketing Group, led by Lori Sale. Paradigm has also expanded its roster in recent years with the acquisition of Genesis, Writers and Artists, Monterey Peninsula Artists and Little Big Man Booking.

“I think the culture here will be very good for me,” Wohl said. “They’re on the cutting edge in every area of the business.”

Wohl said he’s particularly interested in approaching Paradigm’s hefty music roster — which includes Black Eyed Peas, Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, John Legend, Fergie, Sarah McLachlan and Wyclef Jean — in developing alternative fare.

Wohl plans to immediately expand his department by hiring alternative agents in the coming weeks, as well as working with current Paradigm agents who have straddled the literary and reality worlds in deciding where to land.

Wohl said he’s also focused on expanding Paradigm’s international format biz. Rep already handles Sevenone Intl. (the distrib arm of German nets ProSieben and Sat1), Japan broadcaster Nippon TV and Scandinavian conglom FridayTV/Metronome.

“It’s a fantastic time for the reality business, across the board,” he said. “Performance shows are working, elimination-based shows are working. Cable networks are paying license fees comparable to the networks. The global market is getting bigger.”

Wohl said he’d been contemplating a move for some time and decided to exercise an opt-out clause in his ICM contract.

At ICM, Greg Lipstone was named solo head of the tenpercentery’s international TV and media division last week.

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