Range Media Partners is the biggest startup to take root in Hollywood’s talent representation sector in years.
On the latest episode of Variety podcast “Strictly Business,” Range Media co-founders and partners Peter Micelli and Jack Whigham, both CAA veterans, detail their ambitious vision for the management, production and business development firm that vows to nurture “intimate” relationships with a select group of clients that extend beyond booking roles in TV shows and movies and into the empire-building of business development and venture capital investments.
“Talent is the atomic unit of the future,” Micelli said about the orientation of the company. “It’s talent that can build community and can move mountains. That is a fundamental principle. So Range is designed to help exceptional talent unlock their full global value in all businesses.”
Range Media, which now has nearly 150 staffers, got off the ground during the buzzsaw of the pandemic in the late summer of 2020 with financial backing from Steven A. Cohen’s Point72 private equity firm. Cohen, the former Wall Street hedge fund titan who reached a $1.2 billion settlement of insider trading charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2013, has been a valued advisor but has no day-to-day role in running the agency, the partners said.
Range Media has expanded quickly through another partnership with A+E Networks that gives it a boost in content production and distribution.
The launch of the firm has been a balancing act of using cutting-edge data analytics and audience measurement data to help predict trends, opportunities and ripe markets with the old-fashioned duties of keeping paychecks coming for clients.
“We get excited about the evolution of representation and partnership,” Whigham said. “But all of that is contrasted by the notion that the group of us were initially representatives first, and it all comes back to blocking and tackling. We love putting clients to work and putting together projects so much. And if you don’t do that well, none of the other stuff can happen.”
The potential for commerce and creativity in the emerging arena of Web3 and blockchain-driven technology is immense for creators of content now that IP can, theoretically, be tracked and monetized and protected forever.
“It blew our mind getting underneath the types of information you can access and the types of queries you can put through some models to get back (information on) where you should be putting energy, where a client might be best served to put some energy, notwithstanding what they’re interested in,” Whigham said. “What we’re hoping to do is to increase the level of sophistication on the energies we’re applying to these endeavors.”
(Pictured: Peter Micelli, Jack Whigham)
“Strictly Business” is Variety’s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of media and entertainment. New episodes debut every Wednesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and SoundCloud.