John Ferriter, a prominent WMA television agent for two decades, died Thursday at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles from complications from pancreatitis. He was 59.
Jamie Gruttemeyer, Ferriter’s partner at management firm the Alternative, confirmed his death to Variety. Ferriter launched the Alternative in 2015 after five years at Octagon Entertainment.
Ferriter was a top packaging agent at WMA in non-scripted TV , working on “Project Runway,” “The Biggest Loser,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “On Air With Ryan Seacrest,” “The Donny & Marie Show” and “Chelsea Lately.” Clients included Ryan Seacrest, Carson Daly, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew Pinsky and Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia.
Ferriter was the only WMA board member to vote against the 2009 merger with Endeavor. He then sued the successor agency WME over alleged deception about the status of merger talks and settled out of court in 2012.
Ferriter was also a television producer and a singer with the bands the Tearaways and Stingray. He was a California native who attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he served as student body vice president and worked at the school’s radio station as programming director.
Gruttemeyer told Variety, “John taught us all how to be a human being in the entertainment industry.”
Ferritrer is survived by brothers and sisters Theresa, Thomas, Patricia and Michael. His sister Patricia praised her brother as a “one of kind celestial trail blazer whose star burnt out too soon. John was a friend to all and a mentor to many.”
Memorial service and funeral details are yet to be announced. To honor his family’s military roots, donations in Ferriter’s memory should be sent to National Veterans Memorial and Museum, 300 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215 or online at nationalvmm.org/donate.