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Paradigm sells its music division to Wasserman

By | Published on Thursday 18 March 2021

Paradigm Talent Agency

Talent agency Paradigm is selling its music division in the US to LA-based sports marketing and talent management firm Wasserman. Rumours that such a sale was being considered first circulated last spring as Paradigm, like all booking agencies, faced the significant challenges posed by COVID-19.

Confirming his deal with the sports and media business of Casey Wasserman yesterday, Paradigm CEO Sam Gores said: “This agreement is a win for all parties and a vital step on the restructuring path we embarked upon more than a year ago. It represents an important transition for the incredible music agents of Paradigm and the artists they so brilliantly serve”.

“We are huge fans of Casey Wasserman and the company he’s built”, Gores added, “and I am very pleased that he and his team will be at the helm of this important business line. It’s both thrilling and bittersweet to reach this agreement, transition to a new era for Paradigm, and initiate a stabilising solution during a global pandemic that has created an existential crisis for our industry”.

Although all booking agencies were forced to make tricky decisions as COVID pushed the live industry into shutdown a year ago, the decisions made by Paradigm – and, even more so, the way they were communicated – garnered more criticism than most, with one former employee filing an explosive lawsuit. However, as the criticism mounted, Gores did subsequently seek to placate his critics somewhat and provide extra support to his laid off staff.

Talk of a deal with Wasserman first emerged shortly after all that shenanigans. Although most established in the sports sector, the Wasserman company has been expanded its interests into other areas of the media and entertainment sectors in more recent years. It’s thought the Paradigm music team will former a new standalone unit within the group, most likely called Wasserman Music.

Back at Paradigm, Gores has also told staff that the company is seeking “strategic partners” for its other divisions working in film, TV, theatre and literature, more details of which will be revealed at a later date.

As for the Wasserman deal, that is expected to close during the second quarter of this year.