“Like companies across the industry and our country, UTA is taking some immediate and painful steps to ensure we get through the current public health and economic crisis as strong as possible” the Beverly Hills-based uberagency said in a statement Monday. The corporate remarks followed CEO Jeremy Zimmer addressing agents and other employees via a video hookup today with David Kramer and Jay Sures.
“In addition to aggressive cost-cutting measures, this includes asking our colleagues at every level to take pay reductions, structured so our most senior colleagues make the largest financial sacrifice,” the statement added, as the top brass including Zimmer, Kramer and Sures cut their own pay to zero for the rest of what looks to be an economically rocky 2020 and beyond, if necessary. “The understanding and support we’ve received from our colleagues has been incredibly gratifying, as is their recognition that these difficult steps are intended to ensure the long-term strength and viability of our company.”
Paradigm Signs 5-Year WGA Franchise Agreement
The statement concludes with: “While we do not know what the future holds, we are committed to being candid and transparent about where things stand as we navigate these uncharted waters together.”
In addition to pulling the pay for the top guys, UTA partners are taking cuts of 35% to 50% in their base salary. With no layoffs, the plan over on Civic Center Drive is to graduate the cuts in relation to income, with the lowest-paid staffers being affected the least.
How long this latest move is the status quo for the more than 1,100 people who work at UTA is unknown as the consequences of the pandemic spiral and confirmed cases rise domestically and worldwide. Like many companies, UTA is a mix of at-will employees and full-time staff under contract — with each category having rules of its own in such circumstances, even in extremities like the COVID-19 situation.
The specifics aside, the fact is film and TV production has ground to a halt during the past two weeks and media hubs like L.A., NYC, Toronto and London in various forms of lockdown. That means businesses that provide major revenue streams for agencies such as UTA, WME and CAA have dried up to a desert — forcing all of the big boys to take unprecedented measures, with more likely to come.
Variety was first up with the news.,
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.