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

  • Everybody Changes

    New Cadence Productions Acquires Domestic Rights to Panama's 'Everybody Changes'

    New Cadence Productions has acquired North American rights to the transgender family drama “Everybody Changes,” Panama’s official selection for the 92nd annual Academy Awards. The movie from writer-director Arturo Montenegro tells the true story of a Panamanian couple with three children who grapple with the father’s decision to come out as a transgender woman. “Everybody [...]

  • Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division nominee

    Justice Department Moves to End Paramount Antitrust Decrees

    The Department of Justice will seek to end the Paramount consent decrees, the landmark agreements that have barred studios from owning theaters for the last 70 years. Makan Delrahim, the head of the department’s antitrust division, made the announcement Monday in a speech to the American Bar Association fall forum on antitrust. He argued that [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    ViacomCBS Sets HR and Inclusion Chiefs

    ViacomCBS has named corporate heads of HR and inclusion as the companies prepare for the merger that is set to close early next month. The soon-to-combine Viacom and CBS have tapped Nielsen alum Nancy Phillips to serve as exec VP and chief people officer. Viacom alum Marva Smalls will serve as global head of inclusion, [...]

  • Sony Pictures Studio Culver City

    Sony Pictures Entertainment Buys AT&T's Stake in Game Show Network

    Sony Pictures Entertainment has bought out AT&T’s minority interest in Game Show Network for about $500 million. The deal makes Sony the sole owner of GSN. AT&T had owned 42% of the company, which the telco giant inherited with its purchase of DirecTV in 2015. AT&T has been on a mission this year to pay [...]

  • John Malone

    John Malone Boosts Stake in Discovery With $75 Million Stock Purchase

    John Malone has upped his stake in Discovery Inc. by purchasing $75 million worth of stock on the open market. Malone picked up just under 2.7 million shares in Discovery at $28.03 on Nov. 14, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Malone was already the company’s single-largest individual shareholder who holds super-voting shares [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content