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CAA appoints new 11-member board to guide the agency’s future

CAA
CAA’s Los Angeles headquarters.
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

In the latest example of change for Hollywood’s talent representation industry, Creative Artists Agency has created a new leadership structure with an 11-person board to chart the company’s future.

CAA on Tuesday announced the newly created board would handle day-to-day management of the Century City business, in a major overhaul of the company’s operations.

The appointment comes as CAA, which is part-owned by private equity firm TPG, looks to accelerate growth. The board members are all CAA leaders representing areas of the company’s business, including film, television, music and sports.

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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The company’s co-chairmen Richard Lovett, Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane will retain their executive positions. All three have signed long-term agreements to remain with the agency, according to a person close to the company.

The new board will report to them. Handing over day-to-day operations to the board could give Lovett, Lourd and Huvane more freedom to focus on strategic decisions for the agency during a period of upheaval in Hollywood.

“This is an exciting and important moment for our company,” Lovett said in a statement. “This new group will build upon our tremendous momentum and accelerate the agency’s growth, through laser-focused ways in which we can support our clients’ goals and aspirations.”

The board consists of Michael Levine and Paul Danforth from CAA Sports; Risa Gertner, Maha Dakhil and Joel Lubin from the motion pictures division; Emma Banks and Rick Roskin from music; Sonya Rosenfeld, Joe Cohen and Tiffany Ward from TV; and Michelle Kydd Lee, CAA’s chief innovation officer.

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Six of the 11 members are women, which represents a significant move for an industry that has faced sharp criticism for its lack of women in key leadership positions.

The restructuring comes as the entertainment industry’s talent business faces major challenges.

Companies including CAA are having to adapt to the rise of streaming services and the decline in revenue sources, including the collapsing syndication market. Agencies also continue to face off with the Writers Guild of America in a protracted battle over packaging fees and agency-affiliated companies that invest in and produce films and TV shows.

Like other agencies, CAA has expanded through acquisition. Last year, for example, its sports division acquired Base Soccer Agency to boost its representation of athletes.


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