Creative Artists Agency has hired former Agency for the Performing Arts senior veepee Steve Tellez, ending a lengthy search for a top television talent agent, sources said Thursday.

APA’s Rothacker heads West

Formerly APA’s senior-ranking television talent agent, Tellez will be replaced at the firm by Katy Rothacker, who heads APA’s New York office.

She will move from New York to Los Angeles.

In agency circles, it was well known that CAA was searching for someone to fill the post. One source said Tellez was in discussions with the firm for several months before making his decision to switch official. It is believed that Tellez will not have a title at CAA, in keeping with company policy, but will specialize in television talent.

At APA, Tellez represented such clients as Rue McClanahan, Linda Gray, Nancy Cassaro andDee Wallace Stone. Typically, CAA steers clear of taking clients when it hires an agent from a competing firm. Consequently, it is believed Tellez is leaving his current client roster at APA.

APA spokesman Gene Schwam and CAA spokeswoman Anna Perez could not be reached late Thursday for comment, but independent sources confirmed that Tellez has started to notify clients and colleagues of his impending switch.

Tellez is the second hire this week at CAA, following Tuesday’s move of movie and television literary agent Byrdie Lifson-Pompan from Writers & Artists Agency. A source indicated that CAA is also in the process of hiring a feature literary agent.

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