I’ve learned the fates of the following agents (refresh for continous updates). And let’s not forget all the assistants, floaters, and other support staff who also lost their jobs. Meanwhile, no wholesale firings at Endeavor — yet:
WMA LAYOFF — John Mass (Corporate Consulting), Erwin More (TV), Renee Kurtz (TV Lit), Alan Gasmer (MP Lit), Aaron Hart (MP Lit), Ben Rowe (MP Lit), Diego Arialdi (Talent, recently promoted), Todd Maginn (Talent, recently promoted), Mike Palank (Talent, recently promoted), Roya Weiner (Talent), Joanne Wiles (Talent), Sara Bottfeld (MP Lit), Wayne Kabak (Admin, TV, Books) Brian Dubin (Commercials), Jason Fox (TV), Fred Hashigan (TV), Betsy Berg (Lectures), David Hiller (Business Affairs) Susan Brooks (Business Affairs), Neil Strum (Business Affairs), Aron Baumel (Business Affairs), Cody Alexander (head of Videogames), Derek Douglas (Videogames), Ashley Josephson (Talent), Bruce Gersh (Intellectual Property), John Reding (Research), Steven Selikoff (TV), Peter Franklin (head of Theater), Elana Barry (TV Lit), Evan Levy (Sports), Lon Rosen (Sports), Ava Greenfield (MP Lit).
WMA SAFE — Cori Wellins (TV Lit), Blake Fronstin (TV Lit), Mike Simpson (MP Lit), George Freeman (Talent), Danny Greenberg (MP Lit), Kim Bialek (MP Lit), Gaby Morgerman (Talent), Thor Bradwell (Talent), Esther Chang (Talent), Michael Cooper (Talent), Brian de Persia (Talent), Philip Grenz (Talent), Brad Slater (Talent), Phil Sun (Talent), Troy Zien (Talent), Bonnie Liedtke (Talent), Craig Kestel (MP Lit), David Lubliner (MP Lit), Cara Stein (TV), Ed Limato (Talent), Jeff Gorin (MP Lit), Cliff Roberts (MP Lit), Mike Eisner (MP Lit), Scott Henderson (Talent), Jill Smoller (Commercials, Sports), Mike Esola (MP Lit), Rob Carlson (MP Lit), most of Book Department, most of Music Department, most of Personal Appearances, most of London Office, most of Nashville Office.
(FYI: I am posting names because 1) it is news, and 2) I’ve been told repeatedly that it helps those who’ve been laid off get jobs much quicker because prospective employers know who’s out there looking for work.)
UPDATE: The reason today’s layoff announcements could take place is because William Morris and Endeavor heard from the U.S. government there would be no holdup of their merger. I’m told that news came through on Friday, but the Federal Trade Commission put out the notice today. John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable is reporting that the FTC granted early termination. He explains, “The deal was required to be submitted for Justice and FTC approval per a Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust review for potential anti-competitive harms. There is a set waiting period before the transaction can proceed, but the parties can request that the waiting period be terminated early. The FTC’s granting of that request signals that neither it nor Justice plans to take any antitrust enforcement action against the sale.”
10:15 AM: I’m hearing that the William Morris Agency told 100 people they will be let go, primarily in Los Angeles and New York, even though WMA and Endeavor have not yet received government approvals to merge into WME Entertainment. The firings represent less than 15% of the worldwide William Morris Agency’s personnel. I don’t have names yet because it’s still in the process. I’m assured it’s all being done in person, and everyone is getting outplacement services and “above-average” severances, and they can use their office and assistants through May 31st.
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