×

Ari Emanuel ‘Really Concerned’ About Disappearance of Saudi Dissident Jamal Khashoggi

Ari Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, said Monday that the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey was “very concerning,” but would not comment on whether it would cause him to reconsider Saudi Arabia’s investment in his company.

Emanuel, speaking at the Mipcom content market in Cannes, where he received the Variety Vanguard Award, said: “Here’s what I will say about it. I personally am really concerned about it. We are concerned about it. But all I can say is that we are monitoring the situation. And that’s legally all I can say right now. It is very, very concerning. Really concerning.”

Pressed further, he added: “On the face of it it’s upsetting. And we are monitoring the situation right now. That is all I am able and will say right now.”

[UPDATE: Later on Monday, reports in Los Angeles suggested that Endeavor is exploring the possibility of backing out of its $400 million deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund.]

Emanuel also spoke at Mipcom about the need for company leaders to have “emotional endurance” when dealing with big shifts and shocks to the business such as Rupert Murdoch’s sale of Fox and the Saudi crisis. “These are big jolts into the system and if you are not able to have emotional endurance to handle those things – because they are going to come up, at every level of the company – you are not going to be successful,” Emanuel said.

He added: “Hopefully the management [of Endeavor] is showing – in every aspect of the business – that they have it. They are curious, they are willing to take risks, they will hang in there with you. Over time it does seep into the culture, the blood supply of the company, and I think that is what we have done from the leadership of the company at the top all the way down.”

Emanuel was asked by Variety‘s managing editor, TV, Cynthia Littleton, as part of an onstage interview after the Mipcom awards ceremony, whether the company’s continued growth and diversification would lead to an IPO. “We are constantly evaluating what we should and shouldn’t do. Right now raising money has not been a problem because we have had great returns, even though a bunch of my competitors think we constantly overspend. We’ll make a decision. I’m not in any rush to do one thing or another,” he said.

“I think we have got the best partner in the world in [private equity firm] Silver Lake and we have got a lot of good advisers. I’ve no idea. We’ll see what the marketplace offers, and if we need to raise money because there is an acquisition we’ll raise the money and then we will make a decision, and when it is right, it is right.”

More Biz

  • Terry Wakefield Exits Sony/ATV to Head

    Terry Wakefield Exits Sony/ATV to Head Up A&R at UMPG Nashville

    After a decades-long tenure at Sony/ATV Nashville, Terry Wakefield has followed another alumnus, Troy Tomlinson, across town to take a top position at Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville. Wakefield is senior VP of A&R at UMPG after having been senior VP of creative in his previous post. Personal loyalty to Tomlinson, UMPG Nashville’s recently named chairman/CEO, [...]

  • Sally Williams at PBS Country Music

    Sally Williams to Leave Longtime Opry Home for Top Post at Live Nation in Nashville

    Nashville executive Sally Williams is leaving Opry Entertainment, where she rose to the top over a two-decade tenure there, to join Live Nation’s regional office as the president of Nashville music and business strategy, the company announced Monday. Live Nation said Williams will not only lead programming and marketing for their concerts in the area, [...]

  • Fourward

    Management Company Fourward Taps Christopher Burbidge as Head of Talent Division

    Will Ward’s management company Fourward has promoted long-time colleague Christopher Burbidge to head the company’s rapidly growing talent division, while also promoting Brooke Blann to manager in the company’s music division. Both Blann and Burbidge are based in the company’s Los Angeles office and will continue to report directly to Ward. Burbidge works closely on [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Kaplan Stahler Agency Signs Modified Code of Conduct in Win for WGA

    Kaplan Stahler has become the latest agency to sign the Writers Guild of America’s (WGA) modified code of conduct in a win for the Guild. In a message sent out to WGA members today, the negotiating committee wrote that the agreement with Kaplan Stahler “bans packaging fees and agency-affiliated production companies and, through information-sharing, makes [...]

  • London's CODA Agency Formally Becomes a

    Paradigm Agency Formally Absorbs London's CODA Into the Fold

    After five years of working together, London’s CODA Agency has formally become a part of Paradigm and will continue under its U.S. partner’s banner. The London office of what is now a fully integrated Paradigm will continue to be led by Alex Hardee, Tom Schroeder, James Whitting and Dave Hallybone. In a statement otherwise laden [...]

  • WGA Agents Dispute Placeholder

    Agencies Seek to Hold Key Court Hearing Before WGA Elections

    The four major agencies asked a court on Monday to expedite a key hearing in the Writers Guild of America lawsuit, as the agencies seek to have portions of the case thrown out before the WGA’s internal elections in September. The WGA and the unions are still waging a legal and public relations battle over [...]

  • Sonja Plack Cocaine Possession

    'The Chi' Actress Sonja Sohn Arrested on Cocaine Possession Charge

    Sonja Sohn, the actress who appears on “The Chi,” was arrested over the weekend in North Carolina on a charge of cocaine possession. Sohn, best known for portraying Det. Kima Greggs on “The Wire,” was booked and released from the Dare County Detention Center in Manteo, N.C., according to a statement from the Dare County [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content