Uber-agency expands its borders
Marking its third agency purchase of the year, Sam Gores’ Paradigm literary and talent agency is acquiring Monterey Peninsula Artists, one of the nation’s premier musical talent bookers.Monterey represents a diverse roster of artists including Aerosmith, the Black Crowes, Black Eyed Peas, Dave Matthews Band, Steve Miller Band, Phish, the Dead, Chris Isaak, k.d. lang, Lyle Lovett and Tracy Chapman. “Our primary goal has always been to grow our business and make a meaningful difference in our clients’ careers,” said Gores, “without getting so big that we risk losing focus.” Paradigm is certainly bigger now — larger in staff, if not in revenues, than Endeavor even — especially with the addition of boutique lit operations like Genesis and Writers & Artists this year. Most agency watchers say that in order to break into the Big Five, one would need to swallow one whole. Such a move is certainly viable: Gores is backed by his billionaire brother Tom Gores of Platinum Equities. But it’s contrary to his appetite — for now, at least. Gores insists growth for the sake of growth isn’t his goal. A maverick agent of over 20 years, he says he only wants to be “big enough that people have to pay attention to us. There is no intention, at this point anyway, of making a run at the Big Five agencies. Buying one of them would be a contradiction of what we’ve said we want to do.” With the acquisition, Paradigm and Monterey aim to offer their musical clients crossover opportunities for achieving additional opportunities in film, television and legit. Black Eyed Peas’ newcomer Fergie is one such potential client who may move into TV and film projects, according to Gores. Monterey Peninsula Artists was founded nearly three decades ago by Dan Weiner and Fred Bohlander, who, in a joint statement, called the deal “a great fit.” With offices in Monterey, Calif., Nashville and New York, Weiner, Bohlander and the entire Monterey Peninsula team will continue to work in the same capacity but now operate as a division of Paradigm. This includes longtime Monterey agents Jonathan Levine and Chip Hooper, with the latter taking on increased responsibility at Monterey. Paradigm’s acquisition of Monterey comes on the heels of several key strategic moves to expand the agency’s clout in the artist representation biz over the past year, beginning with setting up shop in the former MCA headquarters. Gores snapped up boutique literary agency Genesis in March. That shop repped such high-profile projects like “24”, while Paradigm packaged hit ABC skein “Desperate Housewives.” Paradigm also acquired longtime rival Writers & Artists Agency in August.