Business News Live Business

Paradigm in talks to sell music division

By | Published on Thursday 21 May 2020

Paradigm Talent Agency

LA-based sports marketing and talent management firm the Wasserman Media Group is rumoured to be in talks to buy the music assets of the Paradigm talent agency.

Paradigm, like all talent agencies, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 shutdown, and the resulting cancellation of live events and – for those that also represent actors, directors and writers – the temporary halting of TV and film productions.

Many agencies have taken measures to navigate the COVID-19 storm, including downsizing workforces and reducing wages, though Paradigm in particular was criticised for the rapid and severe measures it instigated at the start of shutdown. Those criticisms got extra media coverage after one of the firm’s agents, Debbee Klein, filed a bombastic lawsuit making a plethora of allegations against the company and its boss Sam Gores.

He hit back arguing that those allegations were “false, frivolous and scurrilous”. He also told his staff in a memo that the firm’s COVID-19 measures, while “hard and painful”, were nevertheless “vital”. Although he did concede that the company didn’t communicate its COVID-19 strategy effectively, writing “I realise that the way the message was conveyed to you lacked compassion and made you feel alienated”.

According to sources that spoke to Variety, Gores’ brother Tom – who heads up a private equity firm called Platinum Equity – has been sounding out the Wasserman Media Group and its boss Casey Wasserman about a possible deal regarding Paradigm’s music division.

That said, the same sources stress that talks are still at a very early stage and it’s by no means assured a deal will be struck. Variety describe said talks as “on-again, off-again”, adding “there’s a good chance that a deal may never come to fruition”.

US-based Paradigm has significantly grown its interests in the music space in recent years including via acquisition. And that includes in the UK where Paradigm formed a partnership with and ultimately acquired the Coda agency.