x

The latest industry news to your inbox.


I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

CAA announces 16 promotions

Leading agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has announced a flurry of promotions across multiple departments.

The company has elevated 16 staff members to agent or executive, including Megan Glendinning, Evan Greenberg, Alex Hubert and Ashley King, who have each been promoted to agent in the music touring department. They will be based in Los Angeles.

Glendinning, Greenberg and Hubert all began their careers as clerks in CAA’s mailroom, while King started out with the firm as a receptionist.

Glendinning later served as an assistant to Jared Martin, Andrew Simon, and Ryan Harlacher before being upped to booking professional in 2022. She was accepted into CAA Elevate – the agency’s training and practical development curriculum – in July 2023, alongside Greenberg and Hubert.

Greenberg was an assistant to Alex Becket, Matthew Kingsley, and Hunter Williams, before being elevated to coordinator in 2022.

Hubert, who previously assisted Lee Goforth, Brett Steinberg, Jared Martin, Brian Greenbaum and Ken Ashley, and King, who had a stint as assistant to Cameron Kaiser and Marlene Tsuchii, were both promoted to booking professionals in 2022.

CAA is headquartered in LA, and has offices in New York, Nashville, Memphis, Chicago, Miami, London, Munich, Geneva, Stockholm, Shanghai and Beijing

In London, Gabrielle Fetters and Peppa Mignone have also been promoted to agent, and Khalil Roberts to executive, within CAA’s books department, while Sarah Phillips is appointed executive in CAA Search, which specialises in recruiting C-level and senior executives, non-executive directors, and board-level executives around the world.

Based in New York, Justin Gorkowitz has been promoted to agent in the comedy touring department, with Leilani Houston promoted to agent in the commercial endorsements division and New York-based Kyle Margolis upped to agent in television news.

In addition, Los Angeles-based Hannah Kaiser has been promoted to agent in the television scripted department, Max Miller is appointed agent in the motion picture talent department and Cami Potter is named agent in television talent.

Finally, New York-based Jack Upton has been promoted to agent in the Talent department and Los Angeles-based Connie Yan is elevated to agent in the motion picture literary department.

Founded in 1975, CAA is headquartered in LA, and has offices in New York, Nashville, Memphis, Chicago, Miami, London, Munich, Geneva, Stockholm, Shanghai and Beijing, among other locations. Artémis, an investment vehicle led by billionaire French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault, acquired TPG’s majority stake in the agency in September.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

French tycoon’s firm secures majority stake in CAA

Artémis, an investment firm led by billionaire French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault, has acquired TPG’s majority stake in Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Financial details have not been disclosed but Bloomberg previously reported the deal would value the leading sports and entertainment agency at US$7 billion (€6.2bn). Private equity company TPG upped its 35% stake in CAA to 53% for a reported $225 million in 2014.

CAA’s Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, and Richard Lovett will remain co-chairs in the wake of the agreement, with Lourd expected to be named CEO and Jim Burtson to continue as president.

Pinault is chairman and CEO of Paris-headquartered luxury goods company Kering, owner of brands such as Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent. He has been president of Groupe Artémis – the Pinault family’s investment company – since 2003.

“Artémis is a strategic investor of the highest order”

“Artémis is a strategic investor of the highest order, with global reach and resources across countless areas of our clients’ interests, a deeply sophisticated understanding of global brands and how to support their growth, and a passion for creativity and innovation that matches ours and that of our clients,” says a joint statement from Lourd, Lovett, Huvane and Burtson.

Founded in 1975, CAA is headquartered in Los Angeles, and has offices in New York, Nashville, Memphis, Chicago, Miami, London, Munich, Geneva, Stockholm, Shanghai and Beijing, among other locations.

“François-Henri Pinault and his remarkable team, led by Héloïse Temple-Boyer and Alban Greget, share our vision for a future of limitless new opportunities,” adds the statement. “We are enormously grateful to TPG for their strategic expertise, invaluable support, and friendship over 13 years. We enjoyed tremendous growth and success together and look forward to continuing to collaborate on projects ahead.”

Singapore-based global investment vehicle Temasek remains a minority owner, with CMC Capital remaining a strategic partner.

CAA consolidated its position at the forefront of the international live music agency landscape last year with its acquisition of ICM Partners

CAA consolidated its position at the forefront of the international live music agency landscape last year with its acquisition of ICM Partners (ICM), in a move valued at $750 million by Hollywood Reporter. The agreement was said to be the largest talent agency transaction since WME acquired IMG in 2014.

The company’s music clients include the likes of Harry Styles, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Florence + The Machine, Dermot Kennedy, Sam Smith, Kylie Minogue, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lorde, Green Day, Muse, Sam Fender, Haim, The Black Keys and Paramore, while its acting clients include Tom Cruise and Pinault’s wife Salma Hayek.

The agency sector has been largely consolidated by just four companies – CAA, Wasserman, UTA and WME – although US-based talent agencies APA and Artist Group International merged to form Independent Artist Group earlier this summer, while the UK’s Primary Talent International, which was sold to ICM Partners in 2020, returned to independence in March following a management buyout.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Summertime: Summer Marshall’s 20-year odyssey

Looking back on 20 years in the business, CAA stalwart Summer Marshall tells Lisa Henderson about how an insatiable hunger to find new talent and emotional intelligence have helped her sign some of the world’s biggest artists.

“Humanise your approach.” That was the advice Summer Marshall gave in a 2017 IQ New Bosses interview for those wanting to follow the agency route into the business. Six years later and those words are still serving as the modus operandi behind her own increasingly successful career. “I approach my work with kindness, an emotional intelligence, and a number-one priority of achieving the goals for the artists I work with,” she says, sitting across from IQ in an expansive boardroom in CAA’s Hammersmith offices.

Having got her foot in the door at just 16 years old, Marshall has already clocked up 20 years in the business, including 15 at CAA – not that she’s noticed. “Honestly, I just get on with it. I’m focused on doing a really good job. I just want to make sure that I’m doing the best I can for the artists I work with and that they’re achieving what they deserve to achieve.”

The results speak for themselves. In the week that we spoke to Marshall, her act Sam Smith delivered two sold-out shows at the O2 in London, as part of their world tour. Maisie Peters, who Marshall believes will be “the next major festival headliner,” played her biggest headline show to date at Hammersmith Apollo. And US singer-songwriter Ava Max delivered the last of two sold-out Shepherd’s Bush concerts which Marshall, who splits her time between west London and Dorset, attended despite being awake since 5 am.

Her impressive and intentionally eclectic roster also includes Jorja Smith, Tems, Celeste, Koffee, Kojey Radical, Gabriels, Nick Mulvey, Nadine Shah, Temper Trap, and Portugal. The Man. “I proactively try and keep my roster to artists that are all quite different, but the thing they all have in common is they provoke conversation. They’ve all got unique voices, and they all have something significant to share with the world.”

“I’ve got lots of memories of Madonna, Tupac, Destiny’s Child, Spice Girls, The Cranberries, Nirvana”

Child of the world
An ear for talent is something that runs in Marshall’s blood. Dad Korda is renowned in the record industry, having held a managing director title at three major record labels. The A&R extraordinaire, who has signed some of the biggest names in rock and roll over his 30-year career, currently co-leads international operations at Australia-headquartered Mushroom Records. Cousin Lara Marshall is director of marketing at Above Board/The Orchard, younger brother Will Marshall is an agent at Primary Talent (and also became an IQ New Boss), and artists are a dime a dozen in the family.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Marshall’s passion for live music was borne from countless summers at Glastonbury as a child, “probably dancing to wild abandon with no shoes, watching Ash. I’ve got lots of memories of Madonna, Tupac, Destiny’s Child, Spice Girls, The Cranberries, Nirvana. The childcare back then was you were sat in front of a speaker stack for a few hours while your parents worked.”

Dad Korda remembers hosting “domestic A&R meetings” each Sunday with kids Summer, Will, and Molly. “I’d cook them Sunday lunch and play everything my A&R team had played for me, and they were brutally honest. We would talk through the deal structures and how much money was invested and whether they wanted to contribute any of their pocket money into the deal. It was a very open house with lots of questions. The three of them formed my domestic A&R department.”

Those weekend A&R workshops paid in kind to Korda, who years later signed The Darkness upon Summer’s recommendation. “That was the first time I properly listened to her, and the band ended up being massive and selling eight million albums.”

Travelling was another cornerstone of her childhood, which helped form her encyclopaedic knowledge of venues and insider knowledge of markets around the world. “My wonderful parents are complete hippies that decided to go back-packing with me as a very small baby. I’ve lived in Australia for the best part of two years. I’ve lived in America. I’ve travelled all over Asia. I’ve been to Africa. I’ve also lived in every single borough in London. I’ve been to a good number of venues in the UK and all around the world. I’d say my home is London, but I’m a child of the world.”

“The industry did not used to be a very friendly place for women, and there was a view that it wasn’t going to be the best career choice”

Though it may have seemed written in the stars that Marshall pursued a career in the music industry, several members of her family attempted to dissuade her from that path. “The industry did not used to be a very friendly place for women, and there was a view that it wasn’t going to be the best career choice. I felt more pushed towards some of the more traditional female roles like teacher, nurse, or mother.”

Marshall started working “as soon as I was legally able to” – first in retail and then in hospitality. Bar and pub jobs led Summer and a good friend to programming and promoting live music, and she eventually turned her hand to A&R, PR, and marketing. Though she didn’t heed the warnings about the less equitable side of the music industry, she found some truth in their caution. Having launched her career in the industry as a teenager, she had to frequently battle both ageism and sexism.

“Within the first five years of my career, I remember going to see an artist that I had signed – and I had correct accreditation – but a door person refused to let me in because he did not believe that I was the agent,” she tells IQ. “That happened to me more than once where I had to call someone to verify that I was who I said I was. Now, it’s not so unexpected for a woman or a young person to be an agent.”

The suggestion of nepotism was also some- thing Marshall had to wrestle with in the formative years of her career. “I didn’t use my last name for the first two years,” she says. “I was fiercely independent, and I didn’t want an assumption that all of the doors had been opened for me because – whilst I fully acknowledge my privilege and I’m very grateful to my family for the support they’ve given me – there are doors that also close because of who you’re related to. It’s a bit more complicated.”

“Being the child of a record exec is a curse as well as a blessing,” Korda testifies. “But she’s achieved everything she has all on her own – all I did was help buy the champagne. Nothing was given to them. They had to work for everything. Hard work was ingrained in them. We had a real life, and we put their feet firmly on the ground.”

“When Summer joined CAA, she was sometimes ‘Korda Marshall’s daughter.’ I am pretty sure that the tables have turned and Korda is now ‘Summer Marshall’s dad.’”

It was that complication, among other things, that helped inform Marshall’s decision to pursue a career in the live business, where her dad’s reputation didn’t precede her. “When I started at CAA, that was the first time I had a business card with my last name, and that felt okay.”

CAA chief Emma Banks says: “When Summer joined CAA, she was sometimes ‘Korda Marshall’s daughter.’ I am pretty sure that the tables have turned and Korda is now ‘Summer Marshall’s dad.’”

The CAA years
It was 2008 when Marshall committed to a path into the live industry. Friend Alison Donald (now head of global creative at Kobalt) mentioned to CAA co-heads Emma Banks and Mike Greek that Marshall was thinking about a change of direction and a meeting was scheduled.

Banks remembers sitting with Marshall in a CAA meeting room. “It seemed to me that she was a smart, driven, and musically savvy person that would be a great addition to the young and growing team at CAA. We were lucky that Sum- mer also liked what she saw, and so she joined us, and the rest is history.”

Greek echoes that sentiment: “Summer struck me as a person with a strong drive to be successful. She had an incredible knowledge of and passion for music. She talked a lot about the many live events she had been to and showed a real passion for moving into the live arena.”

“I am a deeply spiritual person, and I do believe in the fundamental principle of karma. I actively try and put good out there”

Marshall adds: “I have deep respect for Emma and Mike – they are extraordinary human beings. They’re immensely intelligent business-people and have done an incredible job here. They’ve been wonderful mentors to me.”

As a self-identified humanist, the company’s mantra – ‘Take care of each other and good things will happen’ – was also a signal that CAA was the right place for her. “That spoke to me,” she says. “I am a deeply spiritual person, and I do believe in the fundamental principle of karma. I actively try and put good out there, and I feel that kind of moral centre that is quite rare in business. People at CAA really do follow that principle.”

With five years of hard graft under her belt, Marshall hit the ground running at CAA, booking shows from the off. In the first two years, she aimed to be “a human sponge” and attend every meeting and concert she possibly could. “I remember Mike and Emma taking me aside after the first 18 months and saying ‘You don’t have to go to every show. We’re not going to be upset if you’re not out every single night.’

“I think because of my initial training, as a teenager, when I was doing A&R scouting, there was a real expectation in the previous industry norm that you discovered new music from going to concerts, because it was pre-social media. That was a blessing for me because whilst it was an extraordinarily busy time in my life, I can confidently say I’ve been to almost every venue in the UK.”

“I’d say that the artists that are on my roster who are the most successful, I signed before they even released a song”

Building a roster
Marshall’s first few years at CAA were a whirlwind – so much so, she can’t quite remember how she landed her first acts. “My first three signings happened all together at the same time, which was extraordinary: General Fiasco, Temper Trap, Cloud Control. I was incredibly busy after that.”

Marshall recalls wooing Australian indie rock band Temper Trap through a mix of flattery and preparation. “I kept calling and saying, ‘I love you,’” she jokes. “It’s not just saying, ‘I love your music,’ it’s coming with a vision and [hoping] it aligns with them.”

Like many of the artists Marshall has worked with, Temper Trap went on to great success, primarily with 2014 hit Sweet Disposition.

“I’d say that the artists that are on my roster who are the most successful, I signed before they even released a song,” maintains Marshall. So how does she know when she needs to sign an artist, IQ asks? “The hairs on my arms stand up,” she replies. And that’s how she came to sign one of her longest-standing and most successful clients, Sam Smith, before their 2014 breakout hit Lay Me Down.

“I heard Sam’s voice for the first time, and I can honestly say it stopped me in my tracks,” she says. “I couldn’t think of anything else for the next week apart from this extraordinary voice. Sam just has such a unique show.”

“It’s remembering that every show you do needs to have a purpose. There’s no show you should book that’s just to fill the diary”

Another mainstay on Marshall’s roster is British R&B singer Jorja Smith, who she signed ahead of her 2016 debut single, Blue Lights, which addressed police brutality and racism.

“That signing was a team effort,” Marshall tells IQ. “Jorja has a fantastic manager, a fantastic tour manager, brilliant production manager, and a lovely, brilliant band. There are lots of people here that come together to create a successful touring career.

“Her journey has been an example of really taking a leap of faith and getting into markets outside of the UK early. When Blue Lights hit, we had so much demand in the UK we could have easily just gone and done every event in the UK, but we proactively got to Paris early. It’s remembering that every show you do needs to have a purpose. There’s no show you should book that’s just to fill the diary.”

“We lost money a little bit at the beginning [trying to] do some of these festivals and shows to get her into all these markets, but it’s paid off sevenfold now as we come into this moment because she has brilliant foundations to be able to play in every major market in 2024 with her [yet-to-be-released] phenomenal second album, fallen and flying.”

“Summer is so intuitive when it comes to where an artist should play and is always pushing forward to ensure that they have the best opportunities for growth”

That sixth sense for routing is something Banks can testify to: “Summer is so intuitive when it comes to where an artist should play and is always pushing forward to ensure that they have the best opportunities for growth.”

There’s still room for improvement, though, Marshall admits. “I strive to keep learning. At the end of every tour or collection of shows, I aim for a debrief with the promoter and artist team to talk through what went right and what might have not gone right.

“There are always new venues, new marketing methods, new ticketing processes to explore. It is part of what keeps the job exciting and this industry so special to work in.”

Despite her heavy-hitting roster, Marshall says the hunger to find new talent “drives her every day.”

“I love listening to new music. All parts of an artist’s career are brilliant, but the most exciting thing for me is those first 18 months with an artist when you are really rolling up your sleeves and asking, ‘How do we do this? Where are we going to get fans? When are we getting to Paris? How are we tackling the right time to go to Australia? What is the right London show to be bringing all the press to for reviews?’ Those are really important steps.

“It’s a bit like playing a game of chess. I possibly overanalyse but it’s brought me success, so it’s a good thing, but I will spend a lot of time think- ing about the timing and the process because it’s not just about when the tour is happening. It’s about when you’re announcing it, how you’re announcing it, the on-sale window, and who your presale partners are. The nuance in the marketing is really important. One of the big things I’ve learned from working with Mike and Emma is that attention to detail is everything, from when you’re thinking about the show to when the show’s happened and you’re settling it.”

“I do look at the artists I work with like my other children. I care deeply about doing the right thing for them”

Marshall says the reason why she has less than 20 artists on her roster is precisely so she can give that level of attention and care to her artists – something she swore by during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I actively tried not to sign artists during the pandemic when all of my peers were signing lots, because I knew if life did resume and we got this version of reality back again, everyone would want to tour, and I wanted to ensure that I had the capacity to work with the artists that I’ve already committed to. I do look at the artists I work with like my other children. I care deeply about doing the right thing for them.”

Like every agent working in the business, Marshall has lost an act or two but not through lack of care. “It was when I had to go on maternity leave,” she tells IQ. “You have to wave those acts off into the sunset and accept their leaving is a product of the circumstance – it’s no reflection on your work.”

While Marshall is surprisingly gracious about the departure of these acts, she says it was returning from maternity leave that was her toughest moment. “Catching up after the time away whilst still wanting to be a present wife and mother. The period away made me reassess time management entirely, I am more efficient and productive now than ever before because I am so much more conscious of maximising every working day, every second and every hour to its fullest.

“I want to make both my time working and the time with my family count. Balance is important. Finding a healthy life balance allows me to be the best agent for the artists I work with.”

“I don’t feel that I’ve stopped learning. There’s only reason to leave if you feel you’re not continuing to grow”

The Future
Unsurprisingly, Marshall has received a steady stream of job offers from both the live and record industries, but there’s a reason why she’s stuck with CAA for the better part of two decades.

“I don’t feel limited here or without support,” she says. “I don’t feel that I’ve stopped learning. There’s only reason to leave if you feel you’re not continuing to grow. CAA has been immensely supportive in helping me achieve what I’ve done so far and what I hope to do in the future.”

And detailing her “vast ambitions” for the future, it’s clear Marshall has no intention of resting on her laurels any time soon. “I want to achieve stadium success, and I would love to see some of the artists on my roster, like Maisie Peters and Celeste and Gabriels and Olivia Dean, become the next generation of headliners. There is no ceiling to what I would like to do with my career.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Music agent Beckie Sugden joins CAA

Beckie Sugden has joined Creative Artists Agency (CAA) as an agent in the company’s music touring department.

Sugden, who will be based in CAA’s London office, joins from Primary Talent International.

Her client roster includes artists such as Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Noname, Mick Jenkins, T-Pain, Ghostemane, Mac Ayres, Soulection, and Joe Kay.

“We are thrilled to have Beckie join our team and contribute her talents to the work we do for our artists”

“We are thrilled to have Beckie join our team and contribute her talents to the work we do for our artists,” says Emma Banks, co-head of international touring/co-head of CAA London. “She has a proven track record for success in the representation business and, in just a couple of days, has become an integral part of the CAA team here in London.”

Sugden began her live music career as the founder of her own agency Mixedtape, and went on to serve stints at X-ray Touring and also spent five years at The Agency Group (later UTA) and WME.

When sidelined from her daily work by the pandemic, Sugden decided to do whatever she could to help get the industry back on track and at the end of 2020, she trained with St. John Ambulance as a volunteer vaccinator. This included studying subjects such as immunology, as well as practical training in injections and first aid. She has since volunteered across multiple sites in the UK and has administered hundreds of vaccines.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

CAA ups nine music employees to agent/executive

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has announced a raft of promotions within its music touring division.

Los Angeles-based Zack Borson, Alex Douma, Omar Garcia and Brad Pophal, Nashville-based Kaitlyn Bruce, Kara Enos and Ariel Happe, New York-based Brian Greenwood and London-based Jamie Shaughnessy have been elevated to the ranks of agent/executive.

The agency has also recently welcomed prominent music agents Matt Galle, Carly James, Mike Marquis, Mike Mori, Rachel Pestik, and Adam Voith, who have brought high-profile acts to the CAA roster, such as Shawn Mendes, Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend, Janet Jackson, My Chemical Romance, Bleachers and Girl in Red.

“Given what our industry has been through over the past 20 months, we’re incredibly proud of the touring department’s accomplishments, and are blessed to have an amazing team that stayed focused and diligent throughout. We have also been fortunate to have fantastic agents and executives join us over these past months,” says CAA’s head of music Rob Light.

Each of the nine people joining our agent and executive ranks has earned their place among our talented colleagues

“The entire team has worked tirelessly on behalf of our clients – their creativity and teamwork continues to serve the passions, needs, interests, and dreams of the incredibly talented artists we work with. Each of the nine people joining our agent and executive ranks today has earned their place among our talented colleagues and we look forward to their many successes ahead.” 

The promotions come on the heels of CAA’s agreement to acquire ICM Partners and follow notable client signings for the company including Zac Brown Band, The Weeknd, JoJo Siwa, Arcade Fire, Miguel, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chvrches, Charli XCX, Stormzy and Playboi Carti.

Borson, Douma, Enos, Garcia, Greenwood, Pophal and Shaughnessy have been upped to agents, with Bruce and Happe both now serving as executives in CAA’s in-house music marketing and brand partnerships divisions respectively.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

The Power House: Creative Artists Agency at 35

“We walked into work on January 3, 1984, just three agents with three clients and a bit of a dream.”

35 years later, Rob Light, now managing director of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) can rightly look back on the growth of the music department and say that dream came true.

With headquarters in Los Angeles, London and Beijing, the agency works across film, television, music, sports, digital media, marketing and much more.

The music department alone is made up of over 100 agents around the globe and generates over US$3 billion in worldwide touring revenue, according to Billboard. It claims to have more women agents than any other agency, more women in power than any other agency, and a more diverse agent breakdown.

Yet, insists Light, it still runs like a boutique business. “We’re a big agency, but we still care. For us it’s not about being cool – if you want to break and have a career this is how we do it. We’re never cookie cutter.”

New kids on the block
CAA was founded in a whirlwind of drama in 1975 when five hungry William Morris Agency staff quit the biggest film and TV agency in Hollywood to start their own business. It was a major shake-up – the story is worthy of a movie in itself, and is described in great detail in James Andrew Miller’s book, Powerhouse.

Nine years later, in 1984, the company created another stir. It launched a music department and poached one of the biggest names in the music agency business at the time to head it: Tom Ross, head of International Creative Management (ICM)’s music division.

“We’re a big agency, but we still care”

Ross’s assistant at the time was Light. He’d started in ICM’s mail-room six years earlier, aged 21, where he lasted for seven days before being spotted by Terry Rhodes (now running his own agency, Patriot Artists).

When CAA co-founder Mike Ovitz approached Ross, Light was invited to join his boss at the fledgling department. At the time, ICM was a powerhouse. And although it had a reputation for its film and TV work, CAA had just 27 agents, so the move was something of a gamble.

“I believed in Tom, plus Mike Ovitz was an incredibly seductive guy,” remembers Light. “So at 26 I thought I’d take a shot.”

The next five years saw explosive growth. Ovitz had assured Ross that CAA’s music and film departments would work together, and came good on his promise. “When I started at CAA all the film agents were excited we were there,” says Light.

Until then, film, TV and music departments at agencies were like separate kingdoms. But there was increasing demand from musicians to fulfil their other creative ambitions, and CAA’s close working relationship across the teams was ready to help realise them. This cross-departmental ethos has been integral to the company’s success ever since.

“It felt like the agency business had never seen that type of approach, attitude, energy or level of teamwork”

One of the first signings the new music department made was in summer 1984. Prince had long held a desire to make the movie Purple Rain and CAA got him on the books by promising to make it a reality. Light went on to work with the artist for the next 13 years, outlasting many managers and lawyers.

It was the teamwork mentality that was so unique. As agent Rob Prinz told James Andrew Miller: “It felt like the agency business had never seen that type of approach, attitude, energy or level of teamwork and co-ordination.”

CAA was the first agency to have a crossover agent, which saw dedicated TV and acting agent Brian Loucks installed in the music department. Loucks was a massive film and TV geek with an encyclopaedic knowledge of avant-garde film as well as the mainstream.

Loucks’ embracing of the cross-departmental approach can be typified in his Living Room Sessions, which started out as an informal gathering and have turned into an industry networking tour-de-force. They see about 200 carefully selected people invited to his home in LA’s Studio City to see performances by artists such as Annie Lennox, Christine and The Queens, Keith Urban, Two Door Cinema Club and Tim McGraw. These carefully selected invitees are A-list Hollywood, music business and brand names, including renowned manager Simon Fuller, Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson and actor Chris Pine.

“What we’re doing is trying to serve the artists’ needs. If they say they want to try acting, we can give them the tools”

“What we’re doing is trying to serve the artists’ needs,” explains Light. “If they say they want to try acting, or like Billie Joe from Green Day, wanting to do a Broadway play [American Idiot]. If they really want to do it, we can give them the tools.

“It’s easy when you have a company that’s built that way. Everybody here wants to work in this way. You have to have somebody in place to help the artist fulfil what they want to do.”

A reputation for innovation
Light’s rise to the top came when CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz left in 1995 for an infamously short-lived stint as Michael Eisner’s deputy at Disney. His departure was a big deal for the company, which was by now one of the biggest agencies in the world.

It meant a shake-up at the top of the company’s administration. Ross stayed a few years longer, but left in 1998, fed up of the way the live industry was going. It was the time of Live Nation precursor SFX, when media mogul Robert Sillerman was buying up promoters around the world. Ross was one of the most vocal opponents of the new behemoth and after three decades at the top, wanted out of the agency business.

What happened next set the roadmap for CAA’s success and confirmed its reputation for innovation.

 


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 81, or subscribe to the magazine here

CAA promotes 21 trainees to agent or executive

Creative Artists Agency has announced today that it has promoted 21 trainees to agent or executive positions within the agency’s television and touring divisions, as well as in its motion pictures talent, books, brand consulting, sports and speakers departments.

Five trainees have become agents in CAA’s touring division, which in 2018 represented nearly 40% of the top 100 music and comedy tours in North America.

Akin Aliu and Lizzie Holdforth have been promoted to agents in music touring. Olivia Farrell and Guy Howes are now agents in the music brand partnerships department, and Ethan Kurtzman has been promoted to agent in comedy touring.

New agents in CAA’s television division are Barry Buren, Carly Fromm, Nikki Goldfarb, Ilana Goren, Jacob Schiff and Jiah Shin, with Goren, Schiff and Shin serving in scripted television, and Buren in television talent. Fromm and Goldfarb are in the alternative television department.

CAA’s touring division represented nearly 40% of the top 100 music and comedy tours in North America in 2018

Layne Murrow and Harrison Waterstreet are now agents in CAA’s motion pictures talent department, while Natan Bogin has been elevated to agent in the company’s media finance department, specialising in the packaging, financing and distribution of content across a variety of formats.

Berni Barta has been promoted to agent in CAA’s books department, focusing on book-to-film, television and publishing activities.

In terms of executive positions, Maddi Mobley has been promoted to executive in CAA brand consulting and Alexandra Wakefield has become an executive in CAA Sports’ golf consulting group.

Elsewhere in CAA Sports, Sam Rose has been promoted to agent in the basketball department and Cavan Walsh is now an agent in the coaches department.

Kip Ludwig and Scott Zanghellini are now agents in CAA’s speakers and commercial endorsements departments respectively.

The agency announced the promotions at its annual company retreat.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free digest of essential live music industry news, via email or Messenger.

Introducing… the New Bosses 2018

IQ’s New Bosses 2018 goes live today, with agents dominating the winners shortlist – no fewer than six bookers make our annual top ten.

The New Bosses scheme is now in its 11th year and relies on IQ readers and ILMC’s members to nominate those individuals, aged 30 and under, whom they believe are helping to shape the future of the live music industry. And it would seem you are good judges of character, as looking back across the New Bosses over the previous ten years, many of our named winners have indeed gone on to become leaders in their chosen fields.

So, congratulations go to this year’s cream of the crop: Bradlee Banbury (Creative Artists Agency), Kelly Bennaton (DHP Family), Leo Benton (K2 Agency), Tom Bownes (Live Nation), Erin Coleman (Paper and Iron Booking), Kevin Jergenson (ICM Partners), Michael Jones (The MJR Group), Maxim Karlik (United Talent Agency), Meryl Luzzi (Paradigm Talent Agency) and Aino-Maria Paasivirta (Fullsteam Agency).

“I remember pitching for an act and the agent subtly mentioned I had won the award, to the artist and manager; they were so impressed, I am now their national promoter.”

IQ’s New Bosses will be automatically shortlisted for the Tomorrow’s New Boss Award at the Arthur Awards in March 2019 – voting for which will open in mid-November. Last year’s winner, Anna-Sophie Mertens from Live Nation UK, comments, “Nothing beats being able to call yourself Tomorrow’s New Boss! The best part is your colleagues and business partners never fail to highlight the title, whether to celebrate or to mock you.

“I remember pitching for an act and the agent subtly mentioned I had won the award, to the artist and manager; they were so impressed, I am now their national promoter. Congratulations to this year’s New Bosses.”

To find out more about this year’s winners, click here to read our New Bosses 2018 feature.

Our winners also gave IQ lengthier insights into their careers and working methods, the full versions of which will be posted here on the IQ website over the coming weeks, so be sure to check the website regularly to find out more about Aino-Maria, Bradlee, Erin, Kelly, Kevin, Leo, Maxim, Meryl, Michael and Tom.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.