You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Endeavor Acquires Harry Walker Agency

WME parent Endeavor has acquired the Harry Walker Agency, a powerhouse in the speakers arena.

HWA is the booking agent for such heavyweights on the gabfest circuit as Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Gloria Steinem, Stacey Abrams, Henry Kissinger, Ronan Farrow and many others.

HWA, which has about 45 employees, will continue to operate autonomously out of its New York offices. WME’s existing speakers unit will be integrated into HWA, headed by president Don Walker and managing director Ellen Kazis-Walker.

The deal marks another expansion of Endeavor’s holdings in the talent representation arena. The company on Thursday announced the appointment of industry veteran Lloyd Braun as the top executive overseeing all of Endeavor’s agency holdings, including WME, IMG Models and a handful of other fashion-focused firms.

“The Harry Walker Agency has been the gold standard for almost 75 years,” said Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel. “Their standard of excellence has long been imitated, but never replicated, and we’re proud to welcome them to the Endeavor family.”

The goal is for HWA to use its considerable expertise in the speakers market to benefit WME’s deep bench of creative talent.

“HWA and their speakers will now benefit from the global reach and resources of WME and the broader Endeavor network,” said WME president Ari Greenburg. “Additionally, the HWA team brings expertise and relationships that will strengthen our ability to support the world’s leading storytellers.”

Endeavor has been through a period of turbulence in the past few months amid the industry-wide battle between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood’s major talent agencies. Endeavor had planned to raise a significant amount of new capital with an IPO that was pulled at the last minute in September.

The investment in HWA and hiring of Braun are signals that Endeavor intends to stay firmly rooted in the  talent representation sector despite industry speculation about plans for a spinoff of restructuring of agency units and the rest of Endeavor’s content-focused businesses. The blending of talent representation and content production under Endeavor’s roof has been a flashpoint for the WGA in its campaign to reform the rules that govern agents who represent guild members.

The addition of HWA gives Endeavor a much bigger footprint in a lucrative arena. The company’s roots date to 1946. Walker and Kazis-Walker will remain at the helm of HWA. The pair described Endeavor as “the perfect partner.”

“In joining forces with WME, we’re able to create more opportunities for our speakers across the broad gamut of the marketplace of ideas, including books, podcasts and television,” Walker and Kazis-Walker said. “We will now offer event planners a broader array of speakers across television, sports, film, music and media.”

More Biz

  • Passengers wait to depart for China

    Entertainment Stocks Tumble in Hong Kong as True Cost of Wuhan Virus Emerges

    UPDATED: The Hong Kong stock market tumbled by nearly 3% as it reopened on Wednesday. This was the first opportunity for local equities to be traded since the Chinese New Year holidays and the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, central China. There were steep falls for some of the companies most [...]

  • Ben Smith Buzzfeed

    Ben Smith Stepping Down as BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief to Join New York Times

    BuzzFeed News editor-in-chief Ben Smith is leaving the company to join The New York Times as its media columnist, stepping into the role once held by the late David Carr. Smith announced the news today to staff at BuzzFeed minutes before it broke publicly via NBC’s Dylan Byers. His last day will be in March, [...]

  • Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

    Kobe Bryant Helicopter Did Not Have Terrain Awareness and Warning System, NTSB Says

    The bodies of all nine passengers aboard the helicopter that crashed in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday have been recovered, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said on Tuesday. The crash took the lives of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, along with the pilot and six others. Bryant was on his way to [...]

  • Univision logo

    Final Bids for Univision Communications Expected by Next Week

    The sale process around Univision Communications is set to accelerate as final bids for the Spanish-language broadcaster are believed to be due by the end of next week. Univision hung out the “for sale” sign last July, when the company hired Morgan Stanley, Moelis & Co. and LionTree to advise on a sale process that [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Dead

    Kobe Bryant's Best Days Were Still Ahead of Him (Column)

    I was strolling around my local flea market Sunday morning when I looked down at my phone and read the horrible news: “Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash.” I let out an audible gasp. Of course, my utter shock instantly morphed into journalistic concerns over how we were going to cover this unfathomable news. I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content