Billionaire Tom Gores Takes Ownership Stake in Paradigm

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Tom Gores' investment firm Crescent Drive Media has taken an ownership stake in Paradigm Talent Agency.

The agency has also retained former Warner Bros. TV exec Bruce Rosenblum as an adviser for growth and investment.

Billionaire Tom Gores' investment vehicle has taken an ownership stake in Paradigm Talent Agency, led by his brother, chairman and founder Sam Gores.

The agency has also retained former Warner Bros. TV exec Bruce Rosenblum as an adviser for growth and investment, Sam Gores said in a memo to staff on Thursday. 

"I am pleased to announce that Crescent Drive Media (CDM), an investment vehicle owned by my brother, Tom Gores, has taken an ownership interest in Paradigm," Gores' memo read. "This is one of several important steps that put us in a financial position not only to weather this crisis, but to invest in future growth."

Tom Gores, chairman and CEO of investment firm Platinum Equity and owner of the Detroit Pistons, has a net worth estimated at $4.65 billion, per Bloomberg's Billionaires Index as of June 4. 

Paradigm currently has nine offices, including international outposts in London and Toronto and about 600 employees before cuts this year. In March, the agency disclosed that it would be reducing its staff and making temporary pay cuts amid the film and TV production shutdown in Hollywood due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Paradigm temporarily laid off 130 employees at its main Beverly Hills office, the firm said in a notification filing with California’s Department of Labor. The agency subsequently set up a $1.1 million relief fund for impacted staffers.  

Founded in 1992, Paradigm combined several firms, including Gores/Fields Agency; Robinson, Weintraub, Gross & Associates; STE Representations; and Shorr, Stille & Associates, to form a midsized talent and literary agency. 

Paradigm has since expanded from books, film and TV representation to create brand partnerships, comedy, voiceover and digital teams as well as financing content, including launching music label Big Picnic Records in 2013. 

The agency boasts an expansive music roster — including Billie Eilish, Coldplay, Kacey Musgraves, Imagine Dragons and Bon Iver — after years of buying in the representation space. Paradigm acquired Monterey Peninsula Artists in 2004, Little Big Man booking two years later, brought over Ellis Industries in 2008, bought Christian music-focused Third Coast Artists Agency in 2009, and took full ownership of dance and EDM agency AM Only and Windish Agencies in 2017 and the London-based Coda Agency in 2019.

Paradigm also set a live touring joint venture in place in 2017 with agency X-Ray, backed in part by the Ron Burkle-founded investment firm Yucaipa Companies. And, in February, the agency took an undisclosed stake in U.K. sync and sound branding agency Pitch & Sync.

The agency has been subject to takeover or merger speculation in recent years. Last June, after rival United Talent Agency made a move to acquire Paradigm’s talent/literary and music divisions, Gores said that the decision was made to rebuff the offer and told staff that the bid represented “one of the largest talent agency transactions in the history of our business.”

And, after an initial standoff with the Writers Guild of America in its fight over packaging fees with major agencies, Paradigm made a five-year deal with the guild in March allowing its literary department to once again rep scribes. 

Sam Gores' memo to staff on June 4 is below: 

Dear Colleagues,

In an alliance that further strengthens our business, I am pleased to announce that Crescent Drive Media (CDM), an investment vehicle owned by my brother, Tom Gores, has taken an ownership interest in Paradigm. This is one of several important steps that put us in a financial position not only to weather this crisis, but to invest in future growth.

In that context, I am also pleased to announce that the ownership of Paradigm, which includes Tom and me, has retained Bruce Rosenblum as an adviser on growth and investment opportunities. Bruce is an experienced and capable industry veteran. He spent 26 years at Warner Bros., including 14 years as President of Warner Bros. Television Group where he oversaw the entire Warner Bros. portfolio of television businesses, including worldwide production, traditional and digital distribution globally, and broadcasting.

Subsequent to his time at Warner Bros., Bruce was President of Legendary Television and Digital Media from June 2013 through May 2016, and from September 2016 through June 2017 was President, Business Operations for the Disney / ABC Television Group, with direct oversight of advertising sales, global affiliate sales and marketing, digital media, strategy and business development, media operations, engineering and IT, and consumer insights.

He currently serves on the Board of Cox Media Group, which is owned by Apollo Global Management. Bruce also served as the Chairman and CEO of the Television Academy from January 2012 through December 2016. 

I want to thank everyone for their dedication, hard work and continued focus on serving our clients and agency and helping to position our company for a strong future.

With an expanded ownership team, financial stability and creative advisers like Bruce to help us assess new opportunities, I look forward to our next chapter.

Sam