(See WME internal memo below.) Co-CEO Dave Wirtschafter and other top members of WME (like Patrick Whitesell) met with Alicia Keys Wednesday afternoon, and now I hear she’s staying at the agency. This news comes after CAA last week told Hollywood she had left WME and landed there, but then this was denied by the singer and her manager Jeff Robinson. It tuned out that Robinson has been “entertaining the notion”, in the words of one of my sources, of different representation for Keys. Meetings were taken, and CAA believed it had signed the superstar singer/musician. But Wirtschafter had been led to believe that no decision had yet been made by Keys or her manager who’d promised him one last meeting where he would be given the opportunity to save the client. So, both agencies thought they had Alicia Keys on their client rosters. Dave’s meeting took place Wednesday, and I was slipped a WME email showing just how much preparation went into the agency’s presentation: a practice session in the morning, followed by the real thing Wednesday afternoon. (See below).
WME sources are claiming that this is the second time in recent weeks that CAA has jumped the gun like this. They say WME recently signed Almay as a corporate client, but CAA thought it had the account in the bag. (I hear Ron Perelman stepped in to thwart CAA’s chances with his Revlon susidiary because of bad blood between the billionaire and CAA over his ex-wife Ellen Barkin.)