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Arts and Entertainment

TMZ Co-Founder Jim Paratore Dies At 58

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Yesterday, the LA Times reported that television executive Jim Paratore passed away "after suffering a heart attack while cycling in France." However, the Times neglected to mention that Paratore helped found TMZ.

Paratore spent most of his career at Warner Bros. Television and its TelePictures unit: According to the Hollywood Reporter, "Paratore was credited with building the nonscripted production division into one of the industry’s most prolific producers. Among the shows that came out of those efforts are The Ellen DeGeneres Show (on which he was an executive producer), Bonnie Hunt, Judge Mathis, Extra, The Tyra Banks Show, The Rosie O’Donnell Show and Jenny Jones." He also worked on The Bachelor, High School Reunion, Steve Harvey’s Big Time and The Starlet.

And TMZ says, "Jim was President of Telepictures -- a division of Warner Bros. -- when he dreamed up the idea of getting into the digital business back in 2006. Jim and Harvey developed the concept of TMZ ... and Jim sold it to the big wigs, which was no small feat. Jim was a driving force behind TMZ.com and then was critical in creating the TMZ television show."

Ellen DeGeneres issued a heartfelt Tweet, "My friend, producer and champion Jim Paratore died today. He gave me a chance when no one else would. I love you, Jim."