UPDATED with more details: Crescent Drive Media, an investment company run by Paradigm boss Sam Gores’ billionaire brother Tom Gores, has taken an “ownership interest” in the agency, shoring up finances at the company hard hit by the coronavirus crisis. No terms of the deal were disclosed Thursday, but the new ownership block that now includes the brothers said it has retained former Warner Bros TV boss and Television Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum as an adviser.
“This is one of several important steps that put us in a financial position not only to weather this crisis, but to invest in future growth,” Paradigm chairman and CEO Sam Gores said today in a note to his Paradigm staff announcing the moves (read the memo below).
The deal comes two weeks after Casey Wasserman emerged as kicking the tires to acquire the agency’s music business. Deadline reported at the time that such a potential carving up of Paradigm was initiated by Tom Gores, who also owns the Detroit Pistons; he reportedly reached out to Wasserman to gauge his interest.
At the time, Sam Gores sent out a note to staffers telling them that while the company was looking at several “unique opportunities,” “there is no agreement to sell Paradigm, nor is any sale imminent.”
Previously, rival agencies UTA and CAA attempted to strike a deal with the Paradigm chairman, with figures of over $200 million being tossed around.
Rosenblum also was president of Legendary Television and Digital Media from June 2013-May 2016, and President, Business Operations for the Disney/ABC Television Group from September 2016-June 2017. He currently is on the board of Cox Media Group, and Gores said the industry veteran will act as “an adviser on growth and investment opportunities” at the agency.
“With an expanded ownership team, financial stability and creative advisers like Bruce to help us assess new opportunities, I look forward to our next chapter,” Gores said.
In March, Paradigm became the first major talent agency engaged in television packaging to sign a new franchise agreement with the WGA. That came after the agency made widespread “temporary layoffs” of around 200 staffers owing to the fallout from the coronavirus shutdown. The company a couple of weeks later secured “interim financing” to keep the agency afloat for the foreseeable future, set a $1.1 million fund to help those employees on temporary layoff, and extended their health coverage through this month. Sam Gores also said he will not take a paycheck for the rest of the year and possibly longer.
Here’s Sam Gores’ memo today:
In an alliance that further strengthens our business, I am pleased to announce that Crescent Drive Media (CDM), an investment vehicle owned by my brother, Tom Gores, has taken an ownership interest in Paradigm. This is one of several important steps that put us in a financial position not only to weather this crisis, but to invest in future growth.
In that context, I am also pleased to announce that the ownership of Paradigm, which includes Tom and me, has retained Bruce Rosenblum as an adviser on growth and investment opportunities. Bruce is an experienced and capable industry veteran. He spent 26 years at Warner Bros., including 14 years as President of Warner Bros. Television Group where he oversaw the entire Warner Bros. portfolio of television businesses, including worldwide production, traditional and digital distribution globally, and broadcasting.
Subsequent to his time at Warner Bros., Bruce was President of Legendary Television and Digital Media from June 2013 through May 2016, and from September 2016 through June 2017 was President, Business Operations for the Disney / ABC Television Group, with direct oversight of advertising sales, global affiliate sales and marketing, digital media, strategy and business development, media operations, engineering and IT, and consumer insights.
He currently serves on the Board of Cox Media Group, which is owned by Apollo Global Management. Bruce also served as the Chairman and CEO of the Television Academy from January 2012 through December 2016.
I want to thank everyone for their dedication, hard work and continued focus on serving our clients and agency and helping to position our company for a strong future.
With an expanded ownership team, financial stability and creative advisers like Bruce to help us assess new opportunities, I look forward to our next chapter.