The long-awaited executive restructuring at ICM seems finally to have found its expression in the elevation of Eddy Yablans as the new head of the motion picture talent department, and of Robert Newman as head of the motion picture literary department.
Yablans, who has been with ICM since 1992, succeeds Toni Howard, who will focus purely on client development, according to ICM co-prexy Ed Limato.
Yablans’ clients include Chris Rock, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Liam Neeson and Ellen DeGeneres.
Newman, who has been an agency stalwart since 1990, has worked extensively in the indie arena, repping such helmers as Robert Rodriguez, Baz Luhrmann, Danny Boyle, Mike Figgis and Wes Craven.
Newman takes over the slot from Ken Kamins, who will be devoting his time to the international department, where he will concentrate on structured financing, foreign sales and production/distrib deals. Kamins will continue to rep writer-director clients as well.
“This is a partnership between the two of us, and the goal is to seek new opportunities for our clients,” Yablans said. “Robert and I share similar values and philosophies, and there’s a great shorthand between us.”
Added Newman, “”We’re really grateful to Nancy (Josephson), Jeff (Berg) and Ed (Limato) for selecting us. Toni and Ken have been terrific in the transition.”
Reaction from the community was swift, and uniformly laudatory.
“These guys are dynamic, they’re aggressive, and excel in the world of agenting, which is a treacherous place to dwell right now,” said Paramount Pictures Motion Pictures Group prexy John Goldwyn.
Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman/CEO John Calley called the change “very exciting” and pegged Newman as “a real film person who is sensitive to what we need and what’s going on.”
New Line Prods. prexy and chief operating officer Mike de Luca characterized Newman as “someone with a client list that’s almost like a mini-studio.”