That Agency Urge to Merge (Updated)

When each agency urge-to-merge rumor surfaces, it’s the baby agents/ambitious assistants who worry. And why not? After all, they realize that, if it becomes a reality, it’ll take longer for them to rise in the new agency’s food chain. And these windup-toy-types aren’t a patient bunch. So the young’uns are fretting over the latest United Talent-Endeavor rumblings. I’m told Endeavor partner Richard Weitz is actually admitting to them, when they ask about it, that, “yes, conversations have taken place.” On the other hand, conversations also took place in the past with Endeavor-William Morris, and United Talent-William Morris, and CAA-Broder Kurland, and ICM-Endeavor and ICM-Broder Kurland and UTA-CAA, and all these shops are still operating independently. But for how long? True, UTA’s sell-by-date is expiring more quickly than previously anticipated because it’s been so poached by CAA. But don’t for a minute think UTA doesn’t have a helluva business despite the losses, especially re movie comedies.

Remember when I told you that the Los Angeles Times Business section is planning to report the rumors, look at possible combinations, and explain why they’d create in-house chaos because of all the warring ex-colleagues? Not exactly original stuff, but that article may be out this weekend. (FYI: Very soon, I’ll have a deeply reported agents column/s I worked on for nine months.)

By the way, I’m hearing that UTA partner (and TV packaging cash cow) Gary Cosay may be retiring come summer. That could make any UTA merger easier. Or not.

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