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Wasserman explores buying Paradigm’s music business

Casey Wasserman, CEO of sports and talent agency Wasserman, has been in talks to buy the music assets of Paradigm Talent Agency.
(Joe Scarnici / Getty Images)

Entertainment executive Casey Wasserman has been in talks to buy the music assets of troubled Paradigm Talent Agency, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Wasserman, who heads a Los Angeles sports marketing and talent management company, has explored the idea with the financier Tom Gores, the brother of Paradigm Chief Executive Sam Gores, said one of the sources, who declined to be named because they were not authorized to comment.

It’s uncertain, however, whether the on-and-off talks will result in any deal, the sources said.

When asked about Wasserman’s interest in Paradigm, a company representative said Wednesday there was no deal in place.

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“Paradigm has not been sold, nor does (it) have an agreement to be sold,” Mike Sitrick, the crisis communications specialist who is representing Sam Gores, said in an email.

Like other major talent agencies, Paradigm has been hurt by the pandemic, as live events and productions have been suspended.

The Beverly Hills business laid off 250 employees in March, with hopes of eventually hiring them back. But some of those employees who were laid off were upset at the company over how the cuts were handled.

One former partner even sued Paradigm and alleged Sam Gores had improperly used the agency’s money, which he has denied.

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CAA has had exploratory discussions to buy Paradigm Talent Agency in Beverly Hills, known for representing such clients as Fergie and Idina Menzel.

Paradigm, known for its music representation business, has been seen as a potential acquisition target by other large talent agencies, including Creative Artists Agency and United Talent Agency. UTA was close to buying Paradigm last year. The latest talks were first reported by HITS Daily Double.

When the L.A. Times reported in January that CAA had explored buying Paradigm, Gores said his agency was not for sale.

Wasserman led the effort to bring the Olympics to Los Angeles in 2028. He is the grandson of the famous studio mogul, the late Lew Wasserman.

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The potential acquisition comes as agencies are dealing with significant changes in the marketplace caused by the rise of streaming, fallout from the pandemic and an ongoing dispute that the four biggest talent agencies continue to have with the Writers Guild of America over long-standing industry practices.

Already, UTA and CAA have implemented salary cuts. UTA has furloughed some of its employees. Endeavor, the parent company of WME, has had cost reductions affecting one-third of its staff.


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