Thruline brings Mercer on board

Management firm Thruline Entertainment has brought on board manager William Mercer, merging with his Rozon-Mercer Management Group.

Mercer will serve as a partner along with Thruline founders J. B. Roberts and Ron West and Chris Henze, who cited Mercer’s “great taste, integrity and enormous good will around town” in making the deal.

Just for Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival founder-owner Gilbert Rozon, who was partnered with Mercer at Rozon-Mercer, will not formally join Thruline as a partner. Instead, he has signed a deal with Thruline to launch a comedy division, which he’ll operate as a co-venture with the management firm.

As part of the deal, Thruline will also now rep the Just for Laughs fest in the U.S., and partner with Rozon to keep the Montreal offices of Rozon-Mercer open.

“(Rozon) has built Just for Laughs into the world’s largest and most successful comedy event,” Roberts said. “Developing this new company and representing the festival’s interests in the U.S. will be two of our biggest priorities going forward.”

The comedy division will scout for up-and-coming standup and improv performers and writers. Thruline exec Adam Williamson and former Just for Laughs programming director Jodi Lieberman will oversee the division.

“There is nothing but upside for me and the festival,” Rozon said.

Also joining Thruline through the deal is Marc Hamou, a longtime partner of Mercer and Rozon. Hamou will move to L.A. from Montreal.

Rozon-Mercer’s client roster includes Jay Baruchel (“Million Dollar Baby”), Kellie Martin (“ER”) and screenwriter John Rogers (“The Core”); they join Thruline’s talent list, which includes Jessica Alba, Allison Janney, Eva Longoria, Winona Ryder and Ron Livingston.

Thruline’s sister production company, Tagline, recently scored big with its first series launch, the USA Network skein “Psych” (which it produces with NBC Universal TV Studios).

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