Veteran talent rep John Ferriter has exited Octagon Entertainment after five years to launch his own management-production boutique shingle dubbed the Alternative.
Ferriter said the parting with Octagon was an amicable split spurred by the end of his contract. He intends to bring a half-dozen other talent reps into the Alternative in the coming weeks. One of those joining his new venture is Michael Forman, a Brillstein-Grey alum who was most recently exec VP of scripted television for Virgin Produced.
“I always wanted to have my own company, and it seems like, with all the changes in the marketplace right now, there’s never been a better time to launch a boutique representation company focusing on management and production,” Ferriter told Variety.
Ferriter’s key clients, including Piers Morgan, are expected to follow him to the Alternative, which will have offices in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Alternative and Octagon will continue to work together on a handful of projects that are in the development pipeline.
With Ferriter’s departure, Octagon has tapped Kyell Thomas to lead its restructured talent department. Thomas joined Octagon in February 2010 from WMA at the time Ferriter launched its L.A.-based entertainment and talent arm. Octagon, part of the Interpublic Group of marketing and ad agencies, is mostly known for sports marketing and event management.
Phil de Picciotto, Octagon founder and president, said he was “grateful to John for his contributions and wish him every success for his future. We believe that Octagon, with our depth in both sports and entertainment management, has a unique set of capabilities to drive opportunities for our clients, and we have every confidence in Kyell to lead our next steps in the entertainment talent management area.”
Ferriter spent nearly 20 years as a top packaging agent at WMA. He left the percentery shortly after its 2009 merger with Endeavor, and he waged a bruising legal battle claiming he had been shortchanged and deceived about the status of merger talks prior to setting a new contract with WMA. His $25 million lawsuit against the successor WME agency was settled out of court in 2012.