A number of agents from CAA, WME and UTA are departing their respective agencies and joining forces with former CAA agent Peter Micelli, who is launching a new management and production company, Variety has confirmed.
CAA’s Dave Bugliari, Michael Cooper, Jack Whigham, and Mick Sullivan are part of the new venture. Whigham was a co-head of the motion picture department, while Bugliari was a motion picture talent department co-head.
WME’s Rich Cook and UTA’s Susie Fox, Chelsea McKinnies, Lucinda Moorhead and Mackenzie Roussos are also on board, according to sources familiar with the situation.
The move comes in the wake of layoffs and furloughs at the major agencies amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which saw around 90 CAA agents and 275 support staffers face pink slips across the agency’s Los Angeles, New York, Nashville and London offices in late July. WME parent Endeavor has cut staff and UTA has trimmed salaries to deal with the economic realities of the global health crisis.
Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen is one of several major investors in Micelli’s new venture.
Micelli was most recently Entertainment One’s chief strategy officer of television, film and digital, stepping down in April after two years at the British-Canadian content company. He had previously spent more than two decades at CAA as a TV agent, from 1995 to 2018, joining eOne shortly after Mark Gordon took the role of chief content officer at the company. Micelli, who largely focused on TV packaging and domestic sales at eOne, had been tasked with seeking out partnerships and potential acquisitions for the company. He exited eOne less than a year after Gordon moved on and transitioned to a producing deal with the company.
At CAA, Micelli had been Gordon’s agent for four years; the latter in 2018 called Micelli “an expert at building media companies to become leaders in an increasingly digital and global landscape.” Micelli is known for his entrepreneurial approach to developing TV projects, and was an early adopter in striking original content deals with Netflix, Amazon and other streamers.
Deadline first reported the news.