Richard Leibner — the storied agent known for advising top news talent including Dan Rather, Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley, Morley Safer and Diane Sawyer — retired this week, receiving accolades from the industry.
UTA co-president Jay Sures told staff in a memo, “Richard’s impact has been unmatched … His career highlights could be an entire segment of ‘60 Minutes.’”
CNN’s Brian Stelter wrote in his “Reliable Sources” blast: “Richard has been like a father to me, offering witty observations and hard truths and bear hugs along the way.”
Leibner is in the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. His wife, Carole Cooper, is also an accomplished agent at UTA with clients including Anderson Cooper, Dan Abrams, Bill Hemmer, Dana Bash and Juju Chang.
Variety wrote: “His exit from UTA will mark the end of an era. Leibner is a clever and passionate advocate for clients, and has never been shy about delivering his opinion of the latest goings-on in the ever-churning news sector — as long as he isn’t being quoted.”
He spent over 50 years in the business, including leading N.S. Bienstock, the news and broadcast agency UTA acquired in 2014.