His entry into the entertainment industry was with the editorial department of Screen Gems in 1956. He then moved to the International Sales division of the company in 1960 as Assistant to the VP/GM. He was appointed Vice President of the division in 1965 and left the company in 1968 to join CBS as Director of International Sales. After the spin-off of the CBS syndication activities in 1970, Norman returned to Columbia Pictures Television (Screen Gems) and became President of their worldwide distribution company in 1976.
In 1980, he was appointed President and COO of Polygram Television, a joint-venture company he founded with Phillips and Siemens. In 1984, Polygram abandoned all of its film activities and he formed his own distribution company, which operated until 1986.
He was then recruited by MGM/UA to become President and CEO of a wholly owned subsidiary, MGM/UA Telecommunications Company. He supervised MGM/UA worldwide companies dealing in home video, pay, pay-per-view, and syndicated television, as well as licensing and merchandising. He was also responsible for all production activities for these entities. When MGM/UA was sold, he left and reformed his own company.
He co-created the Cable Dating Network as well as an early Internet start-up Rxinfo.com. The TV Food Network, Media Assets, Media Resources, MGM/UA, Star TV, The Don Bluth Company and many others have retained him as a consultant.
He was a consultant for PanAmSat and their streaming subsidiary, Net/36. As a content and program executive he worked with studios and broadcasters to reposition their content in a variety of ways for broadband streaming.
He has consulted with a variety of companies who are either buying or selling film libraries. He specializes in doing valuations of “Content”. He has also arranged production and co-production financing for a large number of U.S. and overseas production companies.
Norman has been an adjunct professor at the UCLA Graduate Business and Film Schools, as well as an associate professor at California State University, Northridge. He has also been a guest-lecturer at UC Berkeley, NYU, Pepperdine University, USC, Cal State Fullerton, UCLA, and St. Peter's College.
He has been a long-term director and fellow of the Television Academy's International Council. He was a member of the Board of Governors and a frequent guest speaker and panelist at the BANFF Television Festival and a moderator and panelist at other multimedia industry events.
Articles that he has authored have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Variety, Broadcasting and Cable and Television Week.
He was born in New York City in 1932. He served in the US Air Force during the Korean War as an Electronics Instructor. Following his air force service, he attended and graduated from the RCA Institute in New York with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He currently resides in Beverly Hills, California.
The all-powerful and, by the way, unelected and un-appointed Motion Picture Association of America retains control over a significant amount of the non print creation and dissemination of media in the United States and a good deal of the remainder of the world.
They are the "Studios," the "Broadcast...
It was midnight on August 27th of 1987 that I found myself in Malibu on a meadow overlooking the Pacific Ocean along with several hundred other severely delusional people waiting the arrival of "the Harmonic Convergence," a "new age" term applied to a planetary alignment.
The timing of the Harmonic...
This is a silly piece about a "tempest in a tea pot."
I am thrilled that at long last The Parents Television Council is appropriately campaigning against an upcoming CBS program "$#*! My Dad Says," and is urging advertisers not to sponsor the show.
They point out that "The Second...
The good "genetic" news is that I am in my seventy eighth year, am healthy, and still have hair.
The bad "genetic" news is that I have spent a lifetime "tilting" at windmills, and I am still "tilting."
Dictionary.com defines "standing" as: rank or status, esp. with respect to social,...
This is another "whine" on my part concerning the pernicious nature of the consolidated media in the United States.
Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner CEO is undoubtedly a decent person, yet his company's relentless pursuit of increased profitability and growth manages to stifle what I would call true freedom of...
A Cablevision/Disney deal was predictably struck a little past the "eleventh hour" last night.
These guys should get their own special Academy Award for drama.
Welcome to America!
My television career began sixty years ago when I joined Screen Gems International. We sold the television content and feature films owned...
I received something akin to the following from a variety of friends who in my humble opinion have become the upscale equivalent of the "New teabaggers."
They are speaking about Congress.
Choose anyone you want, as long as it is not an incumbent!
In my opinion, the American over the air Broadcasting Companies are in the business of making as much money for their shareholders and themselves as they possibly can.
These people should be the deliverers of news and information pertaining to what the Feds are in fact doing to our...
This will be another whining lament concerning the incipient Comcast NBC/Universal merger.
Mel Brooks wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the 1976 motion picture Silent Movie. In the film, his production was to be his studio's salvation to prevent its takeover by Engulf & Devour...
Someone recently said: "Cable ratings in the weeks leading up to the election gave every indication of the Republican victory, and once again they proved to be right on the nose."
I will not take issue with what was said in this instance and I will say that the statistics...
Considering the childish events that are going on in the NBC-Leno-O'Brien event, I wonder if there is a parallel to be drawn to a bunch of kids fighting in a schoolyard. Is there a grown-up around anywhere? Is there someone really in charge at NBC?
I suspect that Leno, Letterman,...
A Television writer/friend Dom Serafini recently wrote an article about "the good old days of Television Ownership."
Dom is not always wrong, but he is at least wrong some of the time, and now is "some of the time..."
He wrote on October 20: "The industry is crying wolf: The...