A Message from Richard Leibner
"While my name is often used synonymously with N.S. Bienstock, the reality is that Bienstock is an organization of over 35 individuals all dedicated to one objective: finding and securing the best opportunities for our clients.
"Through our agents, assistant agents and support staff, each Bienstock client has the resources of the largest broadcasting agency team working for them.
"Our agents are some of the most experienced in the industry. Three were heads of Business Affairs at CBS, NBC and ABC, while others came from talent agencies or by rising through the ranks as broadcasters themselves.
"Having built Bienstock from two people into the most talented staff in the broadcasting industry makes me very proud. Working with these people every day is my greatest reward. Please take a few moments to read more about the agents who make up Bienstock."
Richard Leibner, the founder and President of N.S. Bienstock, Inc. is one of America's most successful broadcast journalism talent agents. Leibner pioneered representation of TV News talent, driving up the market for broadcasters over the past 40 years representing icons such as Eric Severaid, Charles Collingwood, Dan Rather, Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley, Morley Safer and Diane Sawyer. Leibner's success stems as much from his style of representation as from the mega-salaries he commands for his clients. According to the New York Times Magazine, "Leibner with a phone is like Mantle with a bat."
In 1963, armed with a Masters Degree in Taxation, a B.S. in Accounting and a C.P.A. license, Leibner went to work for his family's accounting firm. In 1964, Leibner co-founded N.S. Bienstock, Inc. with Nate Bienstock.
Leibner has been profiled in numerous publications including The New York Times, Time, New York Magazine, People, Electronic Media, Television Week, Us, Worth, Forbes, O-The Oprah Magazine, and the New York Observer.
Leibner remains very active at his alma mater, The University of Rochester. In 2004, he was honored with the Meliora Citation for Career Achievement - the University's most prestigious alumni award for professional excellence.
Carole is recognized as one of the most experienced and respected talent agents in the business. With Bienstock for over 30 years, Carole has developed relationships with the industry's most powerful executives and creative forces. From local and network news to programming, syndication, and new media, Carole has access to all the decision-makers.
Carole has many clients who have been with her for years, and she is as loyal to them as they are to her. She has helped local talent reach their goals of network television and she has helped news talent make the transition into syndicated television.
"Perhaps the toughest part of being an agent is walking that fine line between what management needs and what our client wants. It can be tricky, but I know we do it very well."
Carole attended both Syracuse and Adelphi University earning her B.A. in Speech and Drama.
Lia represents television hosts, news talent and experts in unscripted, local news, digital, cable and network television. She has worked extensively in talent negotiations and always strives to create the best deals for her clients.
A "home-grown" Bienstocker, Lia started with the company right out of college and rose through the ranks. She considers the most exciting part of her job to be developing talent and watching their aspirations unfold as she and her clients work together to get to the next level.
Lia is a graduate of Wagner College, with a degree in Arts Administration and Theatre. She currently resides in New York City.
Jennifer represents news talent in all market sizes as well as hosts for syndicated and cable programs. Jennifer worked in public relations before coming to N.S. Bienstock in 2000. Since then, she has developed relationships with management across the country while advising and coaching clients to make the best career decisions.
Jennifer is also an accomplished editor. Her attention to detail and knowledge of what elements make a great resume tape have helped place many of Bienstock's clients. Her "eye" provides an invaluable coaching tool.
Jennifer graduated from The University of Maryland's Phillip Merrill School of Journalism with concentrations in Broadcast Journalism and Public Relations. She is a proud Terp who loves sports, especially the Yankees and the Giants. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband Peter, her daughter Catherine and has a stepson, Alexander.
Steven represents a variety of on-air talent and producers for network television, cable, and syndication. He has been part of the N.S. Bienstock team for six years, during which time he has worked with local and network news talent, and has successfully negotiated a variety of deals in the programming world at both the cable and network levels. Steven is a creative spirit who truly enjoys developing and packaging television shows and programming talent.
Prior to joining N.S. Bienstock, Steven worked in various production jobs on network and cable television, and toiled as a voice-over actor for television, radio and Internet spots. He also developed, wrote and pitched several scripts to MTV Productions and has a half-completed feature film screenplay saved on his computer.
Steven graduated from SUNY Albany with a double major in English and Theater. He considers himself a pop culture aficionado, is never more than five minutes behind the latest show business headline and consistently wins an Academy Awards pool (well, places in the top three ). Steven loves to spend holidays with his parents, three siblings, rambunctious nieces and nephews and stiff cocktails.
Having built his career on both the publishing and literary agency sides of the book business, Paul brings expertise working directly with established authors, new writers and personalities on both fiction and non-fiction projects.
Prior to joining Bienstock, Paul had been a literary agent at Trident Media Group for more than five years, ran The Paul Fedorko Agency and spent more than 20 years as a publishing and marketing executive at Bantam Doubleday Dell, Simon & Schuster and William Morrow working with many brand name as well as first-time authors.
"Having worked on both sides of the book business, my passion is helping authors develop their projects and partnering them with the right editor and publisher."
Paul is currently looking for the following: on the fiction side, contemporary and literary fiction, mysteries, thrillers and suspense (turn of the 20th century as well as WWII are of particular interest). In non-fiction, he is looking for business-related projects, humor, sports, travel and biography. Submissions: To submit to Paul, please send a query letter via email
. Do not send attachments. If he is interested in seeing more of your material, you will receive a response in 4-6 weeks.
Peter has been building the next generation of broadcast journalists for more than a decade and has had great success guiding talent from the smaller and middle markets into major markets and the networks. Television management across North America has come to rely on him as a consistent source for talent.
Peter brings with him a wealth of behind-the-scenes production experience. Before joining Bienstock, he was Vice President of Broadcasting for International Management Group. In addition, Peter worked as a producer for Transworld International, WFAN-Radio, and ESPN. "As a former producer myself, I know what management is looking for in talent, and I help Bienstock's clients meet those expectations."
Peter is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in Journalism. He and his wife Kerry live with their three children in Croton on Hudson, New York.
George specializes in representing major television, syndication, network and cable producers, as well as entertainment executives, and radio personalities. He has been called "the leading radio agent" in the industry and is a frequent featured guest speaker and panelist at radio industry conferences.
George brings extensive experience to Bienstock's clients: at NBC for over 18 years as Senior Counsel in the Law Department and as a Vice President for the NBC television network. He knows affiliate relations, sales, network operations and marketing like few in the business.
The most important qualities George feels he brings to his clients are "compassion and understanding, experience and a work ethic. Helping my clients to achieve their career goals in a professional and ethical manner is my top priority."
George is a graduate of Cornell and earned his law degree from Columbia University Law School.
Sid Kaufman is a 30-year veteran of the licensing industry whose experience covers a wide variety of property types (Brands, Characters, Celebrity, Music, TV and Feature Film) and product categories (Fashion Apparel, Interactive, Toy, Direct-to-Retail, Packaged Goods and Fast Food Promotions).
Sid provides licensing and brand development services as well as sponsorships, endorsements, and product/broadcast integration. He acquires rights for merchandising representation and leverages his existing relationships with retailers and consumer products companies to explore non-scripted programming opportunities.
After getting his start "licensing in" for a plastic house wares manufacturer in New Jersey, Sid has worked primarily in Los Angeles; first at a "licensing out" position at Lorimar Telepictures and then as President of Merchandising at Universal Studios. In 1994, he opened his own agency, Total Licensing Services, and then returned to the studios to work with Canadian animation company, Nelvana. Sid also worked as an EVP at MGA Entertainment where he managed the global licensing program for Bratz before switching to the rock-n-roll scene as an EVP at Signatures Network (now Live Nation). Prior to joining N.S. Bienstock, Sid was a senior executive at Brand Sense Partners and an independent licensing agent working with Rob Dyrdek, Lisa Frank and legendary surfer Corky Carroll.
Sid graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Maryland where he was an All-ACC Goalkeeper. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, The Travel Mom, has one son currently attending The University of Oregon and a daughter on her way to Texas Tech to play goalkeeper for the Red Raider soccer team. Sid is an avid mountain biker and has three dog rescues.
Ra represents a variety of on-air talent and producers for network television, cable and syndication with a focus on reality programming.
Prior to joining N.S. Bienstock, Ra spent the last decade working as a television packaging agent at APA, Paradigm and The Kaplan Stahler Agency in Los Angeles. He also held various production positions with Warner Brothers Television and Fox World.
"My passion is working closely with our clients to best serve their interests and finding the next generation of content creators in reality television."
Ra earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Film from Columbia College and currently lives in Manhattan.
Adam represents on-air talent and producers in network and local news, syndication, and cable. In addition to representing talent, Adam focuses on the development and packaging of reality programming.
Adam's expertise in contracts and negotiation stems from his experience as a corporate attorney at the top-20 law firm Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays, and Handler in New York City.
He graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and earned his law degree, with honors, from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1992 as a member of the law review.
A big music fan, Adam has been singing, and playing the drums in rock bands since he was 16.
Samantha represents television hosts, news talent, producers, and production companies in the areas of reality, cable, syndication, and network television. She is passionate about her clients and enjoys collaborating with them in order to achieve their professional goals.
Samantha worked in the public relations and talent management areas of the music industry, before joining N.S. Bienstock in 2007. Since then, she has supported the company's top agents with countless on-air talent deals, as well as production and development agreements.
Samantha received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Public Relations from The Pennsylvania State University, and she is a very proud Nittany Lion. She currently lives in Manhattan.
Rick is one of the most highly sought after and respected news and hosting agents in the country. His eye for spotting talent, commitment to his clients and career-management skills have allowed him to find clients early-on in their careers in small markets and help them achieve big market and network jobs.
Who better to represent the interests of electronic journalists than someone who spent nearly a decade in a newsroom. Prior to joining Bienstock, Rick spent eight years at KTLA as a two-time Emmy Award winning producer and assignment editor and nine years as an agent and Executive Vice President at Ken Lindner & Associates.
In 2010, Rick was named among FTV Live's "Top 10 Best People in TV News" along with two of his clients, Kristine Johnson and Natalie Morales. Read the article
Rick graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Communications and Broadcasting. While attending LMU, Rick broadcasted basketball and baseball games for the campus radio station KXLU.
Originally from the New England area, Rick spent over 30 years in Southern California before settling in Bedford, New York with his wife Christa, their two daughters Caitlin and Abby, and their two dogs Jordan and Kona.
As a former senior executive in network news, Steve brings Bienstock seasoned expertise in matching talent and management needs.
Steve spent 17 years at ABC, where he held a variety of positions including Vice President of Business Affairs for ABC News and Vice President of Law for Journalism. He was responsible for negotiations with all on and off-air news talent. He also spent many years in edit rooms helping correspondents and producers get their reports on air by deadline. He knows first-hand about good reporting, writing, producing, and on-air talent.
"I've been on the 'other side,' I've worked in the trenches with journalists and creative people and I know what it takes to get a good product on the air. I also know what management looks for and I enjoy using those insights to help my clients develop their skills and move ahead in this business."
Steve is a graduate of the State University of New York College at New Paltz. He earned his law degree, with honors, from the John Marshall Law School in 1975 as a member of the law review.
JL represents both fiction and non-fiction authors. Prior to joining N.S. Bienstock, she was an agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency, and before that, spent her days working in both the television and fashion industries marketing and developing new talent.
Always looking for fresh and exciting projects, JL brings her enthusiasm to clients while helping them navigate the world of book publishing. From spotting trends, to finding the right editorial match for a project, she takes pride in being involved with her clients every step of the way. JL also teaches a class at the Gotham Writers Workshop: How to Get Published.
Born and raised in New York City, and a graduate of Columbia University, she currently resides in Manhattan solidifying that she is forever a city girl through and through.
JL is currently seeking both fiction and non-fiction. On the fiction side she would love to see both commercial and literary fiction as well as graphic novels. On the non-fiction side, she is looking for cookbooks and food-related narratives, prescriptive health, diet, and fitness, how-to, reference, narrative non-fiction, current events-related projects and all things pop-culture (science, business, technology, music, humor, crafts, DIY.) Submissions: To submit to JL, please send a query letter via email
. Do not send attachments. If she is interested in seeing more of your material, you will receive a response in 4-6 weeks.
Stuart Witt - Agent Emeritus
Stuart brings his clients a strong background in law and in broadcast contract negotiation. He has been at N.S. Bienstock for more than 25 years. Stu primarily represents people at the network level; his relationships with network management are as strong as those of anyone in the business.
Before joining Bienstock, Stuart was negotiating contracts for CBS News as the Director of Overseas Business Affairs in London and in New York as the Vice President of Business Affairs. Prior to that, he was an attorney in the creative field, first for the Screen Actors Guild and next for Margolies, Heit, and Rothenberg, theatrical attorneys in London.
Stuart is a graduate of Indiana University and of Brooklyn Law School. He was a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer stationed in Okinawa.