United Talent Agency acquires TV news agency N.S. Bienstock

Norah O’Donnell of CBS
Norah O’Donnell, co-host of “CBS This Morning,” is an N.S. Bienstock client.
(Jennifer S. Altman / For the Los Angeles Times)

United Talent Agency announced Wednesday that it has acquired N.S. Bienstock, a talent agency that represents television news personalities including Bill O’Reilly, Anderson Cooper, Robin Roberts and Megyn Kelly.

N.S. Bienstock, which is headquartered in New York, has approximately 40 employees, about half of whom are agents. The company’s office will remain open and will not be consolidated into UTA’s existing Manhattan branch.

N.S. Bienstock’s founders and co-presidents, Richard Leibner and Carole Cooper, will remain co-presidents of the company and manage its operations, UTA said.

Beverly Hills-based UTA declined to disclose terms of the deal.


FACES TO WATCH 2014: Digital media

UTA, whose clients include Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Channing Tatum, maintains an office in New York that houses about 20 people. In total, UTA has more than 135 agents in its stable.

Other N.S. Bienstock clients include Bob Scheiffer, Norah O’Donnell and Glenn Beck. The company also has an unscripted-television and packaging division that represents production companies and has put together shows such as Investigation Discovery’s “On the Case with Paula Zahn” and History Channel’s “Mountain Men.”

Television package fees -- one of the key financial drivers for agencies -- are derived from putting together actors, writers, directors and producers on a show.


N.S. Bienstock also represents the executive producers of TV shows including “Live! with Kelly and Michael,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “Rachael Ray.”

“As the entertainment, media, news and technology industries comingle in new and exciting ways, we see tremendous potential for broadcast news talent across every conceivable media platform,” UTA Chief Executive Jeremy Zimmer said in a statement.

PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of movies and TV

UTA’s acquisition comes during a busy stretch of deal-making in the agency world. On Monday, talent agency Paradigm said it would expand into Europe through a joint venture with the London-based CODA Music Agency. The deal gives Paradigm a 50% stake in CODA, which represents acts including Imagine Dragons, Bastille and the XX.

In December, the William Morris Endeavor agency said it would acquire IMG Worldwide in an approximately $2.3-billion deal. Sports and media company IMG represents athletes such as NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and tennis player Novak Djokovic, and sells media rights to sporting events including Wimbledon and the Australian Open.


Reels and deals at Sundance

Agent builds toward a new Resolution


United Talent Agency shoots for the stars with new screening room