The move comes after the news last week that Gendell exited Foundry to form YRG Partners, taking Foundry agents Tanusri Prasanna, Peter Steinberg and Adriann Ranta Zurhellen and their clients with her. That agency will focus on representing publishing rights for writers and consumer brands.
McGuigan’s client include Trevor Noah, Patrick deWitt, April Ryan, Ben Jealous, Bret Witter, Pamela Des Barres, Ellis Henican, Mike Massimino, Wesley Snipes, Andy Richter, Jeff Foxworthy, Robin Gaby Fisher and Frank Figliuzzi among others. His producer credits include adaptations of the No. 1 bestseller Dewey, as well as Stronger, Dopesick and others.
Foundry agent Kirsten Neuhaus, whose clients include Shark Tank shark Daymond John, is joining McGuigan and will be a part of the management team. Alička Pistek, who worked with McGuigan at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates and before that at ICM, has joined and will handle foreign rights. The new agency has already sold Pulitzer-winning Wall Street Journal writer Betsy McKay’s Disease X to Henry Holt and Co., and Kyle Petty and Ellis Henican’s book on NASCAR’s Future to St. Martin’s Press.
“Ultra, like my previous agency, is creative, funky, punky, and punches above its weight,” McGuigan said in a release Thursday announcing the new venture. “But more than anything, Ultra believes that books are more valuable, more popular, more important than ever.”
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