Business type: New-media department at Creative Artists Agency
Number of employees: 20+
Job Title: Head of New Media
First ‘Net experience: Receiving a Mosaic primer at the MIT Media Lab in 1993
Biggest challenge: Perfecting the art of multitasking (in terms of juggling e-mail, meetings, Web surfing, information sifting, phone calls) in order to build a business and service an area that is more chaotic and ambiguous than traditional media
Favorite bookmark: www.earthcam.com
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What does an agency do when its high-profile clients suddenly look around and want to create programming for the Web? You take the Web very seriously.
Since rejoining Creative Artists Agency from Walt Disney Imagineering (where he was veep of creative development) last summer, Dan Adler has overseen the quadrupling of the tenpercentery’s tech staff from a mere three agents to over 20.
Group reps CAA’s clients in online content deals, Internet endorsements and new-media entrepreneur ventures and offers consultation to technology and dot-com clients through relationships with its inhouse Media Lab and incubator Idealab.
“Some clients are very interested in playing an extremely active role now and in committing their creative vision, their time, their brand name, etc. Others are more comfortable letting the business mature, at which point they will play a role that is appropriate,” Adler says.
But the tech space isn’t a new area for CAA. “The agency has committed resources to the area for close to a decade,” he says. “Only recently was the space considered mature enough to a point where a bigger commitment was warranted. We wanted to make sure that our clients were well positioned to take advantage of, and contribute to, what the Internet represents.”
CAA isn’t alone. Other major agencies have also sprouted serious Internet divisions — William Morris and Endeavor among them. CAA, however, features the largest number of agents and a strong dot-com client base that includes Ipix, DrKoop.com, Rumpus.com, ExtendMedia and TiVo, among others. It recently snatched up Bruce Branit and Jeremy Hunt, the digital filmmakers of “405: The Movie,” from iFilm.
Says Adler, “There is no question that the Internet eventually will eclipse the traditional media businesses as we have come to know them; what remains to be seen is when and in what form.”