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As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to cripple the entertainment industry, UTA has begun to furlough staffers.
While the extent of the furloughs is unknown, a source notes that the agency’s assistants will be the most heavily affected. UTA will continue to pay staffers’ health insurance throughout the furlough period.
In a memo Monday to staff, CEO Jeremy Zimmer wrote, “We had hoped the salary reductions we all took would be sufficient, but at this point we must take this additional step to ensure the ongoing financial stability of UTA. Although we are not the first company to do this, and will not be the last, it is still extraordinarily difficult because we work so hard to protect and nurture our culture at UTA.”
A return date in not yet known for furloughed staffers; no layoffs were enacted as a part of the furloughs.
UTA had already implemented agency-wide pay cuts in late March, at which time it was announced that Zimmer and co-presidents Jay Sures and David Kramer would forgo the rest of their annual salaries.
Fellow talent agency WME is bracing for pay cuts, furloughs and layoffs as parent company Endeavor plans measures that will affect up to one-third of the company’s 7,500 staffers worldwide and will take place throughout the month of May. Paradigm laid off an estimated 200 staffers in late March and reduced the payroll due to the pandemic, while ICM has let go of support staff and CAA implemented temporary pay reductions.
Read the memo from Zimmer, below.
Today is one of our most difficult days in the near 30-year history of UTA. I am terribly sorry for all of our colleagues being furloughed.
This is a rough time in the world and work can be an important tether that keeps us connected. All this is made more difficult by our distance and the fact that we cannot be together physically to provide comfort and friendship as many of our colleagues make this transition.
We had hoped the salary reductions we all took would be sufficient, but at this point we must take this additional step to ensure the ongoing financial stability of UTA. Although we are not the first company to do this, and will not be the last, it is still extraordinarily difficult because we work so hard to protect and nurture our culture at UTA.
For those impacted, you are not alone in this. UTA will continue to provide your health benefits, including covering your premiums, along with other resources, information and ongoing support. Beyond that, we will work hard to keep you connected to UTA, including access to internal programs and communicating with you as much as possible during the furlough period.
Our hope is that we will be back to a new normal soon, and that it will include opportunities for all of you to return. Until then, you are in our thoughts and hearts.
I have so much pride in our company, our colleagues and our culture. Someday soon, UTA will again be brimming with laughter, smiles, and energy.
Until then, let’s stay strong and support each other.
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