WMA ponies up for Premier, brings vet Skydel into fold

Tenpercentary's music client roster include Keith Richards, the Who

William Morris has inked a deal to acquire Gotham-based music agency Premier Talent, bringing veteran booking agent Barbara Skydel into the fold as a WMA exec and expanding the tenpercentary’s music client roster with several veteran rock names.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but WMA said Skydel will come on board as a senior VP in the music division. Meanwhile, Premier founder Frank Barsalona will act as an “active consultant” to the agency.

Premier’s roster includes such rock vets as the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Keith Richards, the Who and the Pretenders. The agency’s five or so other staffers will also come aboard at WMA, said Peter Grosslight, senior VP and worldwide head of the music division.

Grosslight said the move wasn’t part of any larger effort at WMA to consolidate in the music agency business, but rather the opportunity arose in ongoing conversations with Skydel and Barsalona. That said, exec didn’t deny the advantages of scale in the touring business.

“The more important clients you represent, the more important you are,” he said.

Exec added that Premier’s lineup of well-known rock acts with long track records on the road will be a consistent draw at the ticket office.

WMA’s existing music clients include such hitmakers as Sting, Sheryl Crow, Outkast, Garth Brooks, Brian McKnight and Tool.

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