We were baffled by Fishbowl NY‘s innocuous report that star reality-show producer Mark Burnett and LBO mogul Teddy Forstmann were having lunch together at Michael’s. How do they even know each other? What could they be talking about? Was Forstmann begging Mark Burnett to make an Apprentice-style show about him in the hopes that he could make his own Trump-like comeback? Nikki Finke solves the mystery:
An insider tells me Burnett is negotiating to sell his company to the entertainment and sports management and production behemoth IMG and come on board. I understand Burnett is “in very serious conversation” with IMG chairman Teddy Forstmann, whose Wall Street private equity firm Forstmann Little back in 2004 acquired IMG which was founded by his legendary friend Mark McCormack. Forstmann keeps looking for Tinseltown deals…
But the question remains, why would Burnett want to do this? He’s still living large off of his string of reality hits, so why would he want to give that up? Did IMG/Forstmann push him into selling or has he simply gotten bored of the scheming, rat-eating nature of reality TV? Also, if he sells, would he relinquish control? What would he do next?
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