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UTA lays off 50 staff, reinstates full pay

United Talent Agency (UTA) is laying off around 50 employees, and reinstating full pay for active staff, according to a memo sent to staff yesterday (2 September).

CEO Jeremy Zimmer wrote in the memo that the agency would be reinstating full pay to employees in the next two weeks, after cutting salaries at the beginning of the pandemic, but would also be laying off 50 staffers.

The lay-offs will affect both current and some furloughed employees across several divisions and IQ understands that agents across all UTA offices worldwide, including its London-based European operation, will be affected.

“Our business is recovering, but the need remains to take a hard and honest look at the size and makeup of UTA—and make decisions that reflect what our business requires not just short term but for the foreseeable future,” reads the memo from Zimmer.

“As for our other furloughed colleagues, we are not able to reinstate them at this time and, given the continued uncertainty, we can’t yet set any expectations about when that might happen,” it continues.

“Our business is recovering, but the need remains to take a hard and honest look at the size and makeup of UTA”

It was reported in May that, UTA, which employs more than 1,100 individuals, furloughed 171 staffers in Beverly Hills.

Salary reductions were put in place back in March, prompting Zimmer and co-presidents David Kramer and Jay Sures to announce that they would forgo their 2020 salaries.

The memo also announced that the agency would increase base pay for assistants and hourly-compensated colleagues and the policy for overtime restrictions would be reviewed.

A number of other agencies reduced employee pay, furloughed staff or initiated lay-offs at the beginning of the pandemic.

Paradigm Talent Agency is known to have laid off some 250 staff in the early days of the outbreak, while CAA, UTA and APA all reduced employee pay. While WME’s parent company, Endeavor, laid off around 250 non-agents, including gardeners and restaurant workers, in late March.

 


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Covid-19 lay-offs hit Dutch live market

Promoter Friendly Fire has become the latest Dutch concert business to make redundancies following a challenging summer, according to local media.

Amsterdam-based Friendly Fire, part of CTS Eventim’s Eventim Live grouping, organises festivals such as Best Kept Secret (25,000-cap.), Indian Summer (30,000-cap.) and Tuckerville (30,000-cap.) and promotes both local and international artists, including the 1975, Fontaines DC, alt-J and Pip Blom. The National, the Strokes and Massive Attack will headline the company’s flagship event, Best Kept Secret, next year; the festival, like all major events, was axed in 2020 because of Covid-19.

Of its 35 employees, Friendly Fire has been forced to let go of ten, reports public broadcaster VPRO.

The lay-offs at Friendly Fire follow redundancies at other Dutch live entertainment stalwarts

The lay-offs at Friendly Fire follow redundancies at other Dutch live entertainment stalwarts, including the country’s leading promoter, Live Nation-owned Mojo Concerts, which has laid off around a third of its staff, according to VPRO.

Other Dutch industry professionals to have lost their jobs in recent months include staff at arenas Ziggo Dome (14 of 34) and AFAS Live (10 of 25) and pro-AV company Ampco Flashlight Group.

The Dutch live music industry, united under umbrella group the Alliance of Event Builders, recently warned of a wave of bankruptcies of events businesses without further government support for the sector.

 


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Eventbrite cuts staff by 45% in $100m cost-saving plan

Event management and ticketing company Eventbrite is laying of 45% of its staff – reportedly between 450 and 500 people – as it implements widespread cost-saving measures.

The workforce reduction was announced as part of a cost-cutting plan, with the company looking to reduce annual expenses by at least $100 million.

The move follows layoffs at other companies in the entertainment industry, including Paradigm and WME parent company Endeavor.

Eventbrite expects to spend between $7m and $10m in severance payments, with an additional $3 to $4m in charges related to facilities and fixed assets.

Reports suggest that Eventbrite’s music division has been particularly affected by the cuts.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption to the live entertainment and experiences economy and we are taking significant action to navigate this unprecedented time,” says Eventbrite co-founder and CEO Julia Hartz.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption to live entertainment and we are taking significant action to navigate this unprecedented time”

“We are saddened to see many members of our team depart the company and we are supporting them in every way we possibly can during this tumultuous time. I want to personally thank our talented and dedicated teammates for contributing towards building the leading platform for independent creators.”

Eventbrite shares (EB) have dropped by just over 66% since the end of February, falling from $21.76 to $7.36. The company’s share price rose by more than 10% during trading yesterday (8 March), following the news of layoffs.

Shares in Eventbrite have been in decline since March 2019, as the company continued to work on the integration of ticketing platform Ticketfly, which it acquired in 2017 for $200m.

The company’s 2019 financial report saw net revenue increase by 12% from the year before to $327m and losses of $69m, an increase of over $6m from 2018.

Photo: Stefan Wieland/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped)

 


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