Notes from the Rep Biz - 07-17-2020

Notes from the Rep Biz - 07-17-2020

At WME:
 
The reshaping of WME continues. Longtime music agents Marc Geiger and Joel Zimmerman have both departed the firm. With this much uncertainty in the touring business, neither rep has a new position as of this moment, but both are likely to resurface eventually.
 
Talent agent Sean Grumman has left WME for Verve, where he will be the first talent agent at the lit-heavy boutique.
 
As far as talent signings, the beat goes on. New WME clients include Melissa King, winner of the most recent round of Top Chef All-Stars, and Sir Elton John, along with his production company.
 
At CAA:
 
CAA has not held back on signing talent during tumultuous times. Recent marquee signings include past Oscar nominees Kristen Wiig and Florence Pugh, as well as a score of rising actors, including Madison Bailey (Outer Banks), Akili McDowell (David Makes Man), Damson Idris (Snowfall), Nomzamo Mbatha (Coming 2 America) and Shira Haas (Unorthodox).
 
On the filmmaking side, new CAA clients include Oscar-nominated documentarian Yance Ford, and directors-on-the-rise dream hampton and Blitz Bazawule.
 
A note on Florence Pugh: at the same time it was announced she’d signed with CAA, it was also announced she’d be working with George Freeman as her manager. Freeman was just recently let go by WME after mistakenly sending an offensive email company-wide.
 
At UTA:
 
UTA has signed some in-demand actresses from across the pond, including Normal People breakout Daisy Edgar-Jones, writer and star of the Sundance hit Herself Clare Dunne, and Riann Steele (The Magicians).
 
Otherwise, UTA has added young triple threat Gregory Diaz IV (forthcoming In the Heights) and beauty YouTuber Shayla Mitchell, aka MakeupShayla.
 
At ICM Partners:
 
ICM’s haul from recent weeks includes solid veteran actors Jeffrey Donovan and Stephen Dorff, along with actress Lesley-Ann Brandt (Lucifer).
 
Elsewhere around town:
 
Not long after leaving CAA to join Imagine Entertainment’s new management division Raj Raghavan is taking his clients over to Echo Lake Entertainment .
 
No fewer than four former Paradigm agents are headed to A3 to kickstart that recently rebranded agency’s lit division. They are: Adam Kanter, Andy Patman, Martin To and Katt Riley. Another Paradigm lit alum, Ryan Saul, has joined The Cartel as a manager.
 
It’s been roughly six weeks since the announcement that PR firm BWR would be closed down by parent company BCW. We can now report that a group of BWR’s top publicists have regrouped to form The Initiative Group, a new bicoastal PR company. The Initiative publicists are: Gary Mantoosh, Cindy Guagenti, Christina Papadopoulos, Lisa Perkins, Jamie Skinner, Alex Spieller and Sarah Yorke. The firm launches with a long list of big-name talent that ranges from Adam Sandler to Anthony Anderson to Padma Lakshmi to Zoe Saldana.
 
Sources: The Hollywood ReporterDeadlineVariety