TMZ Founder Jim Paratore Dead At 58
People know his most infamous brand. Tragically, few would've recognized the man himself. TMZ founder Jim Paratore has died in France at the age of 58.
According to an announcement of his passing by TMZ, Paratore suffered an apparent heart attack while on a cycling vacation. What became TMZ began as Paratore's vision while president of Warner Bros.' Telepictures division in 2006 - an online, magazine-style tabloid concept. As his brand's notoriety grew, he took a hand in developing its broadcast convergeance venture, "TMZ on TV."
His influence was felt more broadly than being the man to whom internet history would always attribute - to some celebrities, "on whom it would blame," more likely - TMZ's rise to prominence.
"After Ellen DeGeneres came out, no one wanted to take a chance on her," the TMZ announcement reads. "Jim recognized her great talent and literally went station to station across the country and convinced very nervous and reluctant general managers that they should take a chance on her - that she was a talent who could connect with and touch everyone. Jim was right."
She wasn't the only one to whom he lent his Midas touch. At one point or another throughout his career, Paratore's name was attached creatively to shows such as "The People's Court," "Judge Mathis" and initially even ABC's "The Bachelor."
He is survived by his wife, Jill Wickertt, and daughter, Martinique Paratore.