Kalcheim to lead Atlas’ L.A. office

Exec to work on negotiations, mergers, acquisitions

Atlas Media, which produces volumes of reality shows for networks like A&E, TLC and History Channel, has set up a Los Angeles office and hired Leonard Kalcheim as VP of business and legal affairs, West Coast.

“Len will work on output negotiations with the studios, package deals with the talent agencies and any mergers and acquisitions we may want to pursue,” said Bruce David Klein, president of New York-based Atlas Media.

Atlas Media is branching out from producing nonfiction shows to such departures as “Spend It Fast,” a gameshow it co-produced with Warner Bros. and Telepictures that ran for 65 episodes on WE: Women’s Entertainment. “Spend It Fast” may go back into production with more elaborate sets for firstrun syndication in 2004.

Using ‘Alias’

Also in the works is a TV movie co-production, in script development with Reveille Prods., based on nonfiction book “The Alias Program,” by Fred Graham, who has worked as a reporter for the New York Times, CBS News and Court TV.

Klein said Atlas has recently begun to seize on the trend toward lifestyle programming. Atlas will produce the weekly hourlong A&E series “All Year Round With Katie Brown,” which centers on cooking, crafts and home makeovers. It premieres July 26.

Other Atlas series include 26 new half-hours of “Top 5,” a Food Network series hosted by Bobby Rivers and focusing on favorite dishes; “Beach Ambush,” 13 half-hours for Outdoor Life Network focusing on the best beaches in America; and “Highway Hangouts III,” the third two-hour special for History Channel centering on roadside attractions.

Klein said Atlas plans to buy the TV movie rights to more nonfiction books, which “we’ll run through our new pipeline in Los Angeles.”

Kalcheim rose to senior VP of business and legal affairs during a 15-year stint at Paramount TV from 1971-86. After Par, he served in a variety of jobs for companies such as Quintex Entertainment and the big infomercial producer Guthy-Renker. Most recently, Kalcheim was VP of business and legal affairs for Nash Entertainment, run by reality TV guru Bruce Nash.