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UTA has named senior executives René Jones, Jim Meenaghan, Rich Shuter and David Spingarn to partner, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The elevations bring the partnership to 58, while the new additions join COO Andrew Thau as UTA’s non-agent partners.
René Jones joined UTA in 2004 to help launch its foundation, serving as the agency’s global head of philanthropy. A veteran of national nonprofits and political campaigns, Jones leads UTA’s annual Project Impact day of community service as well as its mentoring initiatives, employee giving program and Live Inspired program, which provides financial support to employees to take a sabbatical to pursue personal goals. Her other work in shaping company culture includes helping form UTA University, its biannual retreat, and diversity and inclusion efforts. On the client side, Jones works with them to develop their philanthropic and social impact strategies.
Jim Meenaghan is co-head of the UTA Independent Film Group, overseeing its business affairs division. He worked on the sales deals for Kumail Nanjiani’s The Big Sick, Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale, among other features. Meenaghan also works with the agency’s corporate strategy group to help new companies expand. He joined UTA nine years ago from Walden Media, where he was head of business affairs. Meenaghan got his start in entertainment at Walt Disney Pictures and later served as head of business affairs at Icon Films.
Rich Shuter also joined UTA nine years ago and is its head of television business affairs, where he served as lead negotiator for major franchises including CSI, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family and True Blood. His team’s recent work includes structuring deals for buzzy shows including The Crown, Patrick Melrose, The Looming Tower and American Vandal. Shuter previously led business affairs at DreamWorks Television, and before that he structured deals on the feature side for DreamWorks SKG film franchses Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda.
David Spingarn is chief strategy officer, helping lead UTA’s M&A and investment activity, including its high-profile acquisitions of broadcast agency Bienstock, music agency The Agency Group, speakers agency Greater Talent Network and e-sports firms Press X and Everyday Influencers, as well as its minority stake in American Idol producer Industrial Media (formerly known as Core Media Group), where he serves on the board alongside UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer. Spingarn’s experience prior to joining the agency in 2010 included working in strategic planning, business development and investment capacities for Disney, Fox and Universal Music.
“Over the years, we have recruited some of the most talented executives in our industry, who have provided our clients and colleagues with the strongest support,” Zimmer said in a statement. “Jim, David, René and Rich are the best of the best. They bring amazing value to UTA every day and, as we grow, will continue to add invaluable insights and resources to everything we do.”
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