Rep Sheet Roundup: Artists First Names E. Brian Dobbins and David Gardner Co-Presidents

E. Brian Dobbins and David Gardner SPLIT - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Artists First

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Serious business first

Artists First has named E. Brian Dobbins and David Gardner co-presidents.

Dobbins has been with the company since its founding 19 years ago and represents clients including Anthony Anderson, Kenya Barris, Tracee Ellis Ross, Niecy Nash, Jon M. Chu, Tracey Oliver, Romany Malco, Andrew Braugher and Nat Faxon.

Gardner joined 16 years ago and reps Judy Greer, Paulo Costanzo, Ken Marino, Tyler Labine, Diedrich Bader, Stella Maeve, Eriq La Salle, Malina Weissman, Sara Rue, Alyson Hannigan, Neil Marshall, Jonathan Liebesman, Dean Israelite, Michael Gunn and Ann Peacock, among others.

"Brian and David have continually shown their dedication to this company, its culture and leadership, and I am happy to have their wisdom in helping lead Artists First into the future," Artists First CEO Peter Principato said in a statement. "We are committed to growing our organization intelligently and providing clients with the best overall experience and opportunities. On behalf of the partners, we are excited to appoint them as co-presidents."

Funny girl

Aidy Bryant has signed with marketing and communications agency Kovert Creative. In addition to her eighth season of NBC's Saturday Night Live, she also stars on the critically acclaimed comedy Shrill, which Hulu has renewed for an expanded second season.

Kovert Creative also has hired veteran brand marketing exec Jonathan Kichaven. At PMK*BNC for the past 11 years, most recently as vp, he worked with clients including Activision and Samsung Mobile. He will continue to focus on entertainment and sports marketing in Kovert Creative's Santa Monica office, working with its new client, Microsoft Lifestyle Marketing and Xbox Partnership & Lifestyle team.

"We are very excited to welcome Kich to the team," said CEO Joseph Assad, who founded Kovert with Lewis Kay. "He's been someone who's been very impressive since the first day we met him. Watching his growth from afar these last few years has been great to see, and we're looking forward to the next phase for all of us."

Kichaven, a University of Wisconsin-Madison honors grad, previously worked at CAA and Universal McCann. "Given my past relationship with Lewis and Joe, Kovert has always been an agency I've kept my eye on," Kichaven said in a statement. "I've been impressed with their growth and the culture they've created. I can't wait to dig in on the Microsoft work, as well as a few other projects we've got going within the client roster."

Not funny girl

CAA has signed actor Babs Olusanmokun, who currently stars opposite Miles Teller and John Hawkes in Nicolas Winding Refn and Ed Brubaker's Amazon crime series, Too Old to Die Young.

His other credits include History's Roots (where he played Omoro Kinte), Black Mirror (the "Black Museum" episode alongside Letitia Wright and Aldis Hodge), The Widow, Sneaky Pete and The Night Of, and he will next play Jamis in Denis Villeneuve's Dune.

Born to diplomats in Nigeria, Olusanmokun grew up in Brazil and New York, and he speaks English, Portuguese, French, Spanish and Yoruba.

He continues to be represented by Markham Froggatt in the U.K. and by Jackoway Austen.

Funny rep

Paradigm has hired Columbia College Chicago adjunct professor Pam Klier as a comedy touring agent. For the past six years, she has taught Comedy Club Management and Self Management & Freelancing in the Arts, Entertainment and Media Management Department, and before that she has also been a CAA agent and executive producer of the Just for Laughs comedy festival.

"Pam is an expert in the comedy business, and we're proud to have her join our team," Paradigm comedy touring head William Rodriguez, to whom Klier will report, said in a statement. "She shares our dedication to artist-centric, career-focused representation, helping clients grow their business and creative ambitions with passion and integrity."

Klier, a South Side native, will be based in the agency's Chicago office. Before teaching at Columbia College Chicago, she earned her bachelor's degree in theater there, and she also toured with Second City while serving as creative director for Second City Communications.

"I've known William Rodriguez for many years and couldn't be happier to join him and the Paradigm team," Klier said in a statement. "Paradigm's reputation is top-notch, and I'm thrilled at the opportunity to help grow the comedy touring division."

Others on the dotted line

Rent: Live star Jordan Fisher, who next stars in Netflix's highly anticipated To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, has signed with gaming representation firm Loaded as its first traditional entertainment talent.

K-pop label Cube Entertainment and New York-based e2PR have formed a strategic partnership for monster rookie girl group (G)I-DLE's PR and marketing in the U.S. In June the group released its latest single, the '90s hip-hop throwback jam "Uh-Oh," before performing at KCON in New York. (G)I-DLE can currently be seen on Mnet's girl group competition, Queendom. "We are so excited about making an impact in the United States for our fans there," (G)I-DLE leader, main songwriter and producer Soyeon said in a statement. "We thank them for always supporting us even from far away."

Mayhem Entertainment PR has signed:

  • When They See Us Emmy nominee Asante Blackk, now starring on NBC's This Is Us. He continues to be repped by UTA.
  • Goya Robles, who stars on Epix's Get Shorty as Yago. He continues to be repped by Abrams and Unified Management.
  • Emmanuel Kabongo, who made his acting debut in Netflix's 21 Thunder and next will be seen opposite Ian Somerhalder on the streamer's horror series V-Wars. He continues to be repped by Buchwald and Thruline.

Abrams has signed Nick Creegan, who plays Desmond on OWN's David Makes Man. He continues to be managed by

The Jackson Agency, founded in 2014 by CEO Tiauna Jackson with offices in Century City, Atlanta and Phoenix, has signed a franchise agreement with the WGA, West. Although not a member of the Association of Talent Agents, Jackson is believed to be the first WGA signatory agency owned by a black woman.

NMA Public Relations has signed Ed Quinn, who stars as the president of the United States on the new BET+ drama The Oval. His previous credits include Netflix's The Last Summer, 2 Broke Girls, Mistresses, Young Americans and Revenge. He continues to be repped by APA and Luber Roklin.

Katz PR has signed Gwen Hollander, who plays Sheryl on Showtime's Kidding. Her other credits include Hulu's Future Man. She continues to be managed by Schumacher.

Metro PR has hired Ketchum's Elizabeth Villafan as an account supervisor for technology-entertainment brands and promoted:

  • Former PMK*BNC television publicist Rebecca Rolnick Knaack to vp entertainment (clients include Marta Kauffman, Dan Harmon, World of Wonder and Kevin Nealon)
  • Former BHI publicist Andrew Valdes to vp media relations (clients include Kevin Hart's Laugh Out Loud, Rainn Wilson's SoulPancake, Tongal and Kevin Nealon)

Nashville Music Media, founded by Elise Anderson in 2011, has rebranded as Elicity Public Relations and made the following personnel moves:

  • Hiring Brittany Finley as senior publicity manager
  • Hiring Heather Hourigan as publicity and brand partnerships manager
  • Promoting Avery King to director of publicity

Carol Maraj, the mother of Nicki Minaj, has signed with Alicia Stevenson of World Haus Management for brand management and publicity. Maraj recently released a pop soul single, "What Makes You," for which a portion of sales will go toward her eponymous foundation, which advocates for domestic violence survivors.

Buffalo 8 Management has signed multiplatform production company Pathbender Media Holdings, whose portfolio of streaming series includes Spiders and Webs, Witchcraft and Seven Hills.

Supersonix PR has signed:

  • Micayla De Ette, who will make her debut starring alongside Luis Guzman and Beth Grant in the inspirational musical drama Hold On, for which she also will release her first single, "Write a Song"
  • Gina Castellanos, best known as Victoria on Univision's Like, La Leyenda
  • Like, La Leyenda co-star Oscar Schwebel, who also is a member of the Mexican pop group OV7
  • Candy Corn actor/line producer Matt O'Neill
  • Natalie Burn, who produced and will be seen alongside Sean Patrick Flanery, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo and Chuck Liddell in Acceleration

The Lee Agency has signed:

  • Imagen-nominated actor Oscar Torre, currently starring as Vinny Malone on OWN's The Haves and the Have Nots
  • Jeff Lima, who was a regular on HBO's Show Me a Hero and recurs on NBC's Chicago Fire. He is the grantor of Tisch School of the Arts' annual $10,000 Jeff Lima Production Award for a graduate student or alum who advances the Latinx image in Hollywood.
  • Carlos Ibarra, whose acting credits include Netflix's The Good Cop, Sony's Rough Night and TBS' Adam Ruins Everything and who previously worked as head of development at 141 Entertainment. His achievement of becoming the first Latino to run across the United States was chronicled in the docuseries Run Carlos Run.
  • Reggie Currelley, the other actor from State Farm's "She Shed" commercial

Elsewhere in Rep World:

Endeavor Officially Withdraws Intent to Go Public

'Shang-Chi' Star Simu Liu Signs With CAA

ICM Partners Elevates Kevin Crotty and Sloan Harris to Co-Presidents in Management Shuffle

Arnold Schwarzenegger Leaves CAA for UTA

WME Signs New York Magazine

Ex-ICM Partners Agent Sues for Defamation Over Defecation Rumor

Cecily Strong Signs With CAA

CAA Signs Ayesha Curry

IMG Models Signs Jourdan Dunn

CAA Signs 'Top Chef' Producer Magical Elves

Paradigm Signs 'Poldark' Actor Woody Norman

'Derry Girls' Star Jamie-Lee O'Donnell Signs With Gersh

Artists First, Propagate Partner With Model Management Network Elite World Group

Francis Ford Coppola Signs With CAA

Joe Rice, Longtime Abrams Artists Agent, Dies at 61

WME's Jennifer Rudolph Walsh Transitions to New Role