A3 Artists Agency has brought in four former Paradigm agents to reestablish a literary division. Veterans Andy Patman and Adam Kanter have come on board as A3 partners and Co-Head of Television Content and Motion Pictures, respectively. They are being joined by fellow former Paradigm agents Katt Riley and Martin To on the lit team, with plans to hire more agents, coordinators and assistants while many talent agencies have been contracting in the face of the coronavirus-related Hollywood production shutdown.
That includes Paradigm, which in late March instituted temporary layoffs for 250 employees. The list included Kanter, Riley and To, sources said, while Patman left Paradigm last week, I hear.
Meanwhile, A3 chairman Adam Bold said that he and the rest of the agency’s leadership, CEO Robert Attermann and President Brian Cho, who acquired and subsequently rebranded Abrams Artists Agency, took time during the pandemic to “step back and analyze our business in a very strategic way.”
A3 had been with a slimmed-down lit department since July 2019 when veteran Abrams literary agents Brad Rosenfeld and Paul Weitzman left and partnered with former colleague Karen Kirkland to launch a new agency. Last November, A3 signed a deal with WGA, allowing it to represent writers.
“As I said when we became one of the first mid-tier agencies to sign the WGA code of conduct, A3 is committed to the writers,” Bold said today. He explained why he did not a rush to get back in the lit game.
“I didn’t want to just hire an agent here and there but rather hire a team to form the core of a world class literary department,” he told Deadline. “A literary department is the heart of any agency; they are the ones that create the content, and everything else feeds from that.” He added that the new literary team members have “proven track records, and they share our values of inclusion, diversity and putting the client first.”
Kanter, Patman, Riley and To’s move to A3 continues the exodus of lit agents from Paradigm, which recently underwent ownership change, with boss Sam Gores’ bother Tom Gores buying a stake. It also includes veteran agent Debbee Klein who is suing the agency after being temporary laid off.
Bold said that A3 has not implemented any pay cuts for rank-and-file employees. The only layoffs came in June and they impacted only people whose jobs are exclusively facility-related as agency offices have been closed since mid-March and work-from-home is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, he said. That includes office managers and receptions. Everyone affected received severance Bold said. He also noted that the agency’s staff is 60-40 women to men.
Patman spent over twenty years at Paradigm, where he sold Desperate Housewives to ABC. He has worked with such established writers/directors as William Broyles, Marc Cherry, David Henry Hwang, Robert and Michelle King, and Kenny Ortega.
Kanter spent 24 years at CAA and did a brief stint at Jeff Berg’s Resolution before joining Paradigm, where he ran the motion picture literary department until January. He has been involved in such high-profile film and television franchises as The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Rescue Me and Suits. Over the course of his thirty-year career, he has represented such artists as Malcolm D. Lee, Pete Segal, Joe Johnston, Walt Becker, Carl Franklin, and Amy Heckerling.
“It’s an exciting time to be joining A3,” said Patman and Kanter in a joint statement. “Robert, Brian, and Adam are smart, innovative and share our belief that the industry is ready for a return to traditional, service-based representation that puts our artists’ creative dreams and careers ahead of the financial demands in today’s agency marketplace. Together, we will build a state-of-the-art literary team that will enable our clients to share their artistic visions with as wide of an audience as possible.”
Riley spent the last year as a TV literary agent at Paradigm Talent Agency specializing in writers, directors and IP. She has a background at boutique literary agencies and was previously an agent at The Kaplan Stahler Agency.
To began his entertainment career at UTA, where he started as an intern during law school. He joined Paul Alan Smith at ESA as a manager/agent hybrid, and most recently worked at Paradigm. He represents TV writers and Amuse USA, a Japanese production company that curates and develops Japanese IP for the American market.