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Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor Agency will buy its way into music management, acquiring Johnny Wright’s company.
I.B. BAD LOOKS AT MODERN-DAY MUSIC MANAGEMENT
Lots of Action Going Down in This Increasingly Powerful Part of the Biz
Industry watchers are noting that the fall of The Firm during the last few years has coincided with exponential expansion of Irving Azoff’s Front Line, which has now morphed into Ticketmaster Entertainment. Ironically, Jeff Kwatinetz had an opportunity to merge his company with Front Line in 2004 but turned it down because he felt he was building the new talent-entertainment model with the Yorns. Not surprisingly, rumors are rampant about Kwatinetz’s next move, with talk centering on the makeup of his new company.

ATO Records co-founder Michael McDonald is Azoff’s newest catch, as he moves his Mick Management, whose clients include John Mayer and Ray LaMontagne, under the Front Line umbrella. Following the split, askers are asking, what was the rub between McDonald and ATO head Will Botwin?

In other managerial maneuvering, Ari Emanuel, still getting used to being the second most famous sibling in his family, will have the spotlight once again turned in his direction when he announces that his Endeavor Agency will buy its way into music management, acquiring Johnny Wright’s company. Music-intensive rivals CAA and William Morris are said to be not at all pleased with Emanuel’s decision. Questions surround who is funding the venture and which managers Emanuel will go after.

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