Paratore was a television producer and president of Telepictures, a production division of Warner Bros. Television. He helped to create "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," among other projects. In 2006 he teamed up with Harvey Levin to create TMZ.com, City News Service says. Paratore died today while on a bicycling trip in France, apparently of a heart attack.
TMZ's unsigned story calls Paratore the site's founder:
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.
Jim was a huge force in the TV business. After Ellen DeGeneres came out, no one wanted to take a chance on her. 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 ... and Jim was right.
"Everyone at TMZ was touched by Jim's brilliance and the loss is great and painful," the story concludes.