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Paradigm lays off 30 people as Hollywood agencies face headwinds

Sam Gores
Paradigm Talent Agency founder Sam Gores
(Annie Shak)

Beverly Hills-based Paradigm Talent Agency on Friday laid off 30 people, including agents in its music division, the latest sign of mounting financial pressures on Hollywood’s representation industry.

The layoffs were part of the company’s effort to reduce redundancies caused by the agency’s acquisitions in the music space, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly on the situation.

The job reductions at the company’s offices in the U.S. and Canada affected people mostly in its music division and included both agents and administrative staff, the person said.

Talent agencies are under growing pressure to raise capital to finance growth at time of rapid changes in the media industry. The rise of streaming and expected decline of TV packaging, combined with the effects of a longstanding boycott by Writers Guild of America, have put the squeeze on talent agencies, some of which have laid off workers.
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An agency spokesman declined to comment.

Before Friday’s layoffs, Paradigm had recently parted ways with roughly half a dozen people as part of a typical attrition process, according to a person close to the company who was not authorized to comment.

Paradigm, which also has offices in New York, Nashville, Chicago, Toronto and other cities, employs more than 700 people.

Deadline was first to report on the Friday layoffs.

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Paradigm, like other large talent agencies, has been expanding its scale in recent years through acquisitions. Last year, the company became the full owner of London music agency CODA Agency.

The company was itself an acquisition target. UTA also pursued the Paradigm Talent Agency last year, but was rebuffed.

Talent agencies have been facing growing pressure to adapt to a changing media industry. The rise of streaming and the expected decline of TV packaging, combined with the effects of the long-standing dispute with the Writers Guild of America, have squeezed talent agencies.

Last month, ICM Partners laid off about a half dozen agents across multiple departments, a small fraction of the company’s roughly 600 employees.

The job cuts were mostly due to normal attrition but also reflected a realignment of the company’s business as it evaluates how many writers it might represent in the future and where its future growth lies, said a person familiar with the agency’s thinking who was not authorized to comment.


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