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ALL EYES ON GEIGER

The stories and rumors about the adventures of WME with players Marc Geiger, Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell continue to swirl through conversations at the highest levels of the music business. These rumors stretch all the way from the boardrooms of Los Angeles to the analytics haven in Stockholm. Though we weren’t in the rooms where it happened, we’ve compiled a quick overview of what we’re hearing. 

The turmoil at William Morris Endeavor began before the Pandemic lockdown and continues today. Mass layoffs are said to be in the offing.

  1.  There were huge financial promises made to agents at the company—including top-tier music players Kirk Sommer, Sara Newkirk Simon, John Marx, Brent Smith, Scott Clayton, Samantha Kirby Yoh, Joey Lee and Jay Williams—that were subsequently broken. The agents agreed to salary cuts ahead of a panned IPO that went south. Then the pandemic hit the fan and their situation became exponentially worse.
  2. Head of Music Geiger is in the eye of the storm. 
  3. Reports tell us that Geiger has recently gone to Silver Lake Investors in an effort to undermine his superiors, CEO Emanuel and Executive Chairman Whitesell. The substance of the meeting allegedly involved the pair having taken $160m apiece out of the agency prior to stiffing Geiger and other top agents (see #1), and Geiger is thought to have implied a mass exodus if they were not taken care of.
  4. Reports also tell us that meeting did not go well for Geiger, whose talents as a top-notch music executive, albeit with a lack of significant clients, are less valuable in today’s difficult times
  5. Then the Swedish factor enters the mix, as rumors of talks for Geiger to leave WME and take a position working for Daniel Ek at Spotify continue. While no one at the Spot has yet confirmed this, the buzz is that Geiger has told more than one high-profile player about talks with Ek—despite his denial of the story in a quote to Variety.
  6. Whitesell’s  office has been calling major managers  to set up phone meetings on Monday.

 That’s all we have for now. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

 

 

 Whitesell pic courtesy Financial Times - Patrick Whitesell, Ari Emanuel, Lionel Barber, CC BY 2.0

 

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