EXCLUSIVE: Longtime UTA partners and book department co-heads Howie Sanders and Kassie Evashevski are leaving the agency. They are moving to the Anonymous Content, where they will transition to producer/managers and establish a dedicated literary rights division. Agency staff is being told right now.
Sanders has been at UTA around two decades, and Evashevski half that long, joining in 2007 after a decade as a manager at Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Before that she was at Writer’s House literary agency in New York and Random House. She made the Twilight Saga deals for Stephenie Meyer and has brokered deals for Salman Rushdie, Wally Lamb and many others.
The duo will make a deliberate transition from the agency, not exiting until mid-October. UTA will figure out the future leadership of the department, but insiders said that Sanders and Evashevski built a strong team that will pick up the slack in the interim. The exit is an amicable one. Both companies said they do a lot of business now and expect an even higher level of collaboration going forward.
“It goes without saying that we will miss Howie and Kassie as colleagues,” said UTA co-president David Kramer. “But more than anything, as friends we wish them all the success in the world as they enter this new chapter of their careers and transition to producer and manager roles. They did invaluable work at UTA to dramatically expand our intellectual property division and built a first class team that will carry our business forward. We look forward to collaborating with them and our friends at Anonymous Content for many years to come.”
Sanders and Evashevski told Deadline in a statement: “It’s extremely hard for us to say goodbye to our incredible colleagues at UTA after so many wonderful years of collaboration and success. We’ve been proud to call UTA our home and have thrived in an environment where innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit are hallmarks. This next chapter would not have been possible without the years of support from our beloved friends at UTA and we look forward to collaborating with them for years to come. Now we are incredibly excited to be joining AC to help forge new paths in supporting authors, journalists and creators within the evolving media landscape. Steve and his team are beyond impressive and we will continue to seek out original voices and look forward to helping bring their stories to the world.”
This is a coup for Anonymous Content, the company built by Steve Golin and partners and which has been in forward motion since it was at the center of dueling Best Picture nominees Spotlight and The Revenant (Spotlight won, but Revenant grabbed Best Actor, Best Director and other Oscars). Shortly afterward, the company sold a significant minority stake in the company to Emerson Collective, the organization led by Laurene Powell Jobs, Golin had engaged Guggenheim Securities to shop the company for a cash infusion that would continue growth in film and TV, with series that include Mr. Robot, 13 Reasons Why and True Detective.
The collective relationships that Sanders and Evashevski have built up, plus their author clients, will give Anonymous Content a leg up in sourcing quality literary properties for movies and series.
Said Golin in a statement to Deadline: “We are incredibly excited that Howie and Kassie are joining our team with their deep relationships in the book, journalism and publishing community. Proximity to intellectual property has become increasingly critical to success in both the representation and producing businesses, and Howie and Kassie’s expertise will accelerate Anonymous Content’s steady growth. With Howie and Kassie joining us, we look forward to deepening our already close working relationship with UTA.”