Known in the publishing biz as "Vig the Pig," Vigliano is the controversial literary agent who has repped tabloid fixtures like Jessica Simpson and Michael Jackson.
Native New Yorker Vigliano went to Hunter and Harvard Business School before getting a job at Warner Books, where he pioneered in-house packaging (bringing together ghostwriters, illustrators/photographers, and "names" to create a book concept), honing his opportunistic instincts by developing books from scratch instead of waiting for agents to submit proposals. He soon realized that his knack for sniffing out potential projects could make him a lot of money as an agent, and so in 1986 Vigliano—with no prior agenting experience but plenty of business school bravado—started a lit agency of his own, Vigliano Associates. He brags (untruthfully) that he's the only agent to have started a literary agency without having previously worked at one.
Known among editors as something of a bottom feeder, Vigliano's strategy of picking clients straight from the news—such as right-to-life cause célèbre Terri Schiavo's widower Michael Schiavo, whose book came out in 2006—means he's seen as the publishing equivalent of an ambulance chaser. His client list includes the famous and the infamous: Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, skin doc Nicholas Perricone, Rocco DiSpirito, Shaquille O' Neal, and David Blaine have all handed over 15% to the Vig. Rock stars are one of his specialties: He brokered the sale of Kurt Cobain's journals, sold Courtney Love's journals to Jonathan Galassi's FSG—leading to the 2006 book Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love—and has represented Billy Corgan, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, Stephen Stills, Antony Keidis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Moby and Jon Bon Jovi.
Vigliano was widely criticized–even more than usual, that is–when he agreed to rep Jayson Blair, the former Times reporter who fabricated dozens of stories for the paper. Vigliano finagled Blair a six-figure advance for 2006's Bringing Down My Master's House, the sales of which ended up being mediocre.
Vigliano, who's unmarried, lives a couple of blocks from Union Square, in the same building as George Lois. When not making millions selling books, he practices yoga, and has also dabbled in stand-up comedy, performing in clubs in the city and LA.