UTA has just acquired New York-based Greater Talent Network, one of the world’s most influential speakers bureaus which was founded in 1982 by CEO Don Epstein, now a UTA partner. GTN started at that time with political satirist PJ O’Rourke and author Tom Wolfe and then added Hunter S. Thompson, Abbie Hoffman and Timothy Leary. It is now one of the foremost market leaders in live speaking engagements.
Over 35 years, GTN has built a client roster the New York Times has called “a who’s who of business, entertainment and politics” including Billy Beane, Preet Bharara, Mark Burnett, Ed Davis, Louis Freeh, Dan Harris, Raymond Kelly, Michael Lewis, Marcus Luttrell, Ron Paul, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Ruffalo, Lesley Stahl, George Takei, Jeffrey Toobin and Elizabeth Vargas, among a slew of others.
GTN will continue to operate out of its New York City and Florida offices. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. David Eisman of Skadden, Arps repped UTA in the deal.
“Overnight this makes UTA the global leader among talent agencies on the speaking circuit,” said newly named UTA co-president Jay Sures in making the announcement. “GTN has been a great company in this market for decades, and the synergies on both sides will create both unlimited and unparalleled opportunities for our clients. The power of GTN’s brand and its resources and capabilities adds another major dimension to UTA’s full-service model. Don Epstein and his entire team have done a tremendous job building a world-class company, and we’re proud to now join together.”
Epstein noted that he had been approached many times over the years by other companies wanting to combine forces, but that he chose UTA for its unique hands-on approach to servicing artists, public figures, and content providers. Our clients will continue to experience the same level of service and expertise as they always have from GTN. But by becoming part of UTA, we will be able to vastly increase clients’ visibility and demand across all of these platforms.”
Epstein was one of the pioneers of repping talent as speakers. He actually launched GTN in the basement of a New York brownstone in 1982 and now is home to the world’s top lecture agents and professional event coordinators who represent a who’s who of luminaries from across business, literature, entertainment, sports, media, technology, news, and politics.