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WMA signs O’Dell, Richter

On the personnel side, Button also joins percentery

It was a busy week at the William Morris Agency, where the holiday season came to a close with a rash of last-minute signings and promotions.

Signing with the agency were “Access Hollywood” co-anchor Nancy O’Dell and Teutonic helmer Roland Suso Richter. Latter’s making his English-lingo debut with indie pic “The I Inside.”

In addition to her work on the nationally syndicated “Access,” three-time Emmy nominee O’Dell has hosted the Golden Globe Awards arrivals for the past two years for NBC, and the Emmy pre-show for both ABC and Fox. She’d previously been at Endeavor.

Helmer Richter has directed “The Tunnel,” “A Handful of Grass,” “After the Truth” and “14 Days to Life,” among other films. Starring Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Polley, “The I Inside” will be distribbed in North America, Italy and Australia/New Zealand by Miramax Films.

On the personnel front, manager Philip Button has joined WMA as an agent in the commercial department, concentrating on sports and music marketing.

He was most recently a manager with Talent Entertainment Group, working with clients such as Jackie Chan, Sean Penn and Salma Hayek. Button also consulted for the Inter-Milan soccer team of the Italian First Division, advising the team on U.S. deals that included exhibition games, equity investments, merchandising (Nike now sponsors the club), naming rights and other business opportunities.

Move is a homecoming of sorts; he was an agent-trainee in 1996 working on the desk of John Fogelman and then WMA agent Brian Gersh.

Finally, WMA upped a clutch of agents in its Nashville office, promoting Greg Oswald to senior VP, with Mark Roeder, Marc Dennis, Rob Beckham earning VP stripes. Sue Ann Cordell was promoted to VP of human resources.