ICM Working With Crisis PR Firm Sitrick & Co. (Exclusive)

11:04 PM PST 12/08/2011 by Daniel Miller
Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images
Jeff Berg

The move comes as the agency's management fight continues, with president Chris Silbermann continuing an effort to buy out at least part of financier Suhail Rizvi’s majority interest in the agency and convert it into a partnership.

In the wake of the departure of its outside public relations firm, ICM is turning to crisis PR company Sitrick & Co. as the talent agency works through its ongoing management struggle, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

The move comes as ICM president Chris Silbermann continues with an effort to buy out at least part of financier Suhail Rizvi’s majority interest in the agency and convert it into a partnership.

Los Angeles-based Sitrick & Co. is known for often representing entertainers, businesspeople, athletes and corporations that face public relations troubles due to their affairs, and the agency has a reputation for toughness. The company's website lists Michael Vick, AIG and the estate of Michael Jackson as clients, among many others.  

Michael Sitrick, who heads his namesake firm, said in an e-mail to The Hollywood Reporter that Sitrick & Co. has represented ICM "on and off for more than a decade." Sources familiar with the situation say Sitrick recently began advising the agency after Principal Communications Group, its previous outside PR firm, severed its relationship with ICM in mid-November. Principal had been hired by Silbermann to represent the agency and support its in-house communications department, which remains in place. However, when the management feud erupted, Principal resigned its post. ICM declined to comment.

STORY: ICM: Silbermann Offer to Buy Out Rizvi Expires But Negotiations Continue

Silbermann made an offer in November to acquire at least part of Rizvi's controlling interest in the Century City-based agency, but that offer expired. Silbermann and colleagues Bob Broder and Ted Chervin are said to be frustrated with Rizvi, whose Birmingham, Mich.-based Rizvi Traverse Management acquired its stake in ICM in 2005. Sources have said that Rizvi hasn't nurtured ICM, instead focusing on cost savings. Complicating matters is Silbermann’s frosty relationship with agency chairman Jeff Berg, who along with Silbermann and some agents, holds ICM stock.

A spokesman for Rizvi Traverse did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Kim Masters contributed to this report.

Email: Daniel.Miller@THR.com
Twitter: @DanielNMiller

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