Wow, CAA just keeps cutting back and cutting back. While partners Bryan Lourd, Richard Lovett and Kevin Huvane are paying themselves $15 million a year, their tenpercentery is buzzing that the bonuses for the agents who work for them will be cut by another 10% this year. Actually, the total trim is 20% over two years because the agency slashed bonuses by 10% back in 2006. And all because the CAA partners spent too much money on their pet projects. Here are some of the figures I’m hearing: Moving to that Century City monument to ego, which was Bryan Lourd’s idea, cost CAA around $30M to $35M. Buying a sports agency business, which was Richard Lovett’s idea, racked up another $30M to $40M. Setting up in China, which also was Lovett’s idea, meant an additional $5M to $10M. And let’s not forget that CAA can’t negotiate better than zero upfront money for a star like Jim Carrey. So now the children have to suffer because the adults can’t balance their check book. Or is it the other way around?
Meanwhile, there are more rumors about Bart Walker leaving CAA, this time to partner with indie prince John Sloss. I can’t imagine anyone even cares since Walker clients like Sofia Coppola and Julie Taymor aren’t on must-hire lists. Yet a CAA partner swore to me 11 days ago that Walker was not exiting the tenpercentery when the rumor swept Hollywood that Bart had been fired. Then again, CAA has this habit of placing its discarded agents around the Industry and making it look as if everything was amicable. In turn, the grateful peon is pathetically beholden to the agency for not being humiliated. Walker headed the motion picture division of ICM’s NY office then defected to CAA’s NY office in 2004.