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WASSERMAN-PARADIGM: STILL BAKING?

Despite reports that have circulated in recent days touting a more or less finished agency soufflé (allegedly slated to close officially in Q2), word has it that the Wasserman-Paradigm deal is only half-baked.

The composition of the five-agent leadership group constellating around Paradigm veteran Marty Diamond has already met with criticism for its lack of diversity, with one woman and no people of color on the leadership tier. The four chosen to run music at the agency alongside Diamond are Lee Anderson, Sam Hunt, Jonathan Levine and Jackie Nalpant.

Meanwhile, questions have swirled around the roles of Tom Windish, AM Only founder Paul Morris and senior agents Corrie Christopher Martin and Matt Galle. Multiple insiders have said that Windish, Morris and Christopher Martin are still attached, with benchmarks built into their deals that will ultimately see them receiving big checks. It’s therefore considered a given that they’ll be sticking around, though they aren’t among those charged with the day-to-day management of agents across the company’s four U.S. offices.

On the other hand, news that Bamboozle Festival co-founder Galle would not be renewing his deal surfaced a couple weeks ago. Fellow Paradigm agent Mike Marquis, Galle’s partner in indie record company Photo Finish Records, will be leaving the company with three others on their team. Sources have revealed that their deals are officially up this summer and it is unknown if Paradigm will let them out early to find new homes.

Wasserman is assuming control of the agency’s North American music assets, meaning X-Ray Touring and other ex-U.S. components are outside the scope of the deal. Sam Gores retains oversight of Paradigm’s non-music wings.

Meanwhile, Sam’s brother/financier/Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, who remains involved, has become embroiled in fresh controversy due to his Platinum Equity’s acquisition of prison-telephone enterprise Securus Technologies. That company is fielding accusations that it is gouging prisoners and their families for phone communications and is ultimately profiteering on incarceration, primarily of people of color. Gores at first doubled down on his support for Securus but has since modulated his statements; the NBA has attempted to mediate.

Paradigm has also been in a dispute with UTA over commissions owed regarding canceled events as agents have moved between the agencies.

How will all this shake out? What else remains to be resolved before then? Stay tuned.

 

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