EXCLUSIVE: Endeavor chiefs are telling staff today that there were will be companywide pay cuts ranging from 0-30% that will occur in the coming weeks, Deadline has confirmed. This is similar to a strategy adopted by Disney and other companies, to avoid mass layoffs during a pandemic that has brought world commerce to a screeching halt. Every company will see this except for UFC, because the latter is not wholly owned by Endeavor.
Endeavor president Mark Shapiro will take a 50% pay cut, this after chiefs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell informed staff last week they will go without salary the rest of this year, in a note that foreshadowed these cuts. It follows an initial layoff of about 250.
The higher earners will shoulder most of the burden here, and will see their pay decrease by 30% maximum. The cuts will not impacts employees making under $65,000.
There have been differing strategies on how to handle this crisis. In Hollywood, Paradigm was out front with a “temporary layoff” plan that left over 100 without a paycheck. Agencies like Verve instead opted for pay cuts. Presumably those laid off can tap into the DC stimulus package that makes provisions for extended unemployment.
Deadline revealed March 20 that Emanuel held a call with partners at talent agency WME, to tell them that a planned liquidation event where they could cash out 20% of their equity was postponed indefinitely.
There are plenty of rumors about all the company moves are going to impact who works where in the future. But these and other moves happening all over Hollywood are about one thing: companies like Endeavor carry debt obligations, and right now revenue has dried up in an unimaginable and abrupt way. The mission is to survive and keep as many people as possible working.