EXCLUSIVE: Ouch. Paradigm held a conference call Thursday morning where its head of HR told the agency that upwards of 180 employees — mostly operations and administrative, we’re told — have gone from “temporarily laid off” to permanently exited from the company.
There are no new people who were laid off, but this closes the books on a large number of people who were hanging onto hope that their jobs might be restored, after the agency made a shockingly large “temporary layoff” on March 20, shortly after it became clear that the pandemic was going to decimate agencies. Especially agencies like Paradigm, which draws its largest commissions from live musical touring acts.
Many of those agents who were laid off by the agency at that time have found other jobs, and drama has followed at the company. There was wide speculation that Casey Wasserman might take a stake before the agency threw in with Crescent Drive Media, an investment company run by Paradigm boss Sam Gores’ billionaire brother Tom Gores, who took an “ownership interest” in the agency that supposedly was going to shore up resources at the agency so hard hit by the coronavirus crisis. Warner Bros TV boss and Television Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum was retained as an adviser at that time.
Agency chief Sam Gores, who was not on today’s call, just followed up with the following internal email:
From: Sam Gores
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2020 10:45 AM
With disappointment and sadness, today we have informed the temporarily laid off employees whom we have not been able to reinstate that they will be transitioned to permanent layoff. As you know, over the last six months, we have brought back as many of our temporarily laid off colleagues as we could; unfortunately, the profound effects of the coronavirus have continued to severely impact every aspect of our industry and our world for longer than we had even imagined six months ago. Consequently, we have had to examine every aspect of our business and make this difficult decision.
We are grateful for the work of the affected team members on behalf of the company and our clients — we thank each of them for their service to Paradigm. As these colleagues and friends begin their next chapters, we wish them only the best.
As a company, we have enjoyed growth for several decades, so needless to say, this is a difficult day. Our values and our core are strong, and we will continue on a focused path, and we remain committed to improving.
I recognize that you and your former colleagues have carried a heavy burden this year, and I am grateful for all of your contributions. We all hope that someday soon, the live and filmed entertainment industry will safely and wholly return.
As always, the company and I remain appreciative of your commitment and dedication.
Paradigm Talent Agency
chairman & ceo
Paradigm Talent Agency