Boutiques fold into Paradigm


Nashville — The Paradigm shift is almost complete. Sources said that Monterey Peninsula Artists and Little Big Man will be fully integrated into the Paradigm Talent Agency fold and that the two boutique agencies' names will be retired effective Aug. 13.

The former MPA will operate as Paradigm divisions in Monterey, Calif., and Nashville. MPA's roster includes Black Eyed Peas, Aerosmith, Dave Matthews Band, Toby Keith, the Black Crowes and Gov't Mule. Meanwhile, LBM, whose roster includes such acts as Coldplay, Avril Lavigne, the Fray, Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys, will operate as Paradigm New York.

As always, the home office for Paradigm is in Los Angeles, where the company was founded in 1992 as an independent film, TV and literary agency by chairman Sam Gores. Clients include actors Katherine Heigl, Joel Surnow, Denis Leary, Chris Cooper and Teri Hatcher.

LBM was acquired by Paradigm in September, and MPA was added in January 2005. But all concerned said the two boutiques will maintain their independent spirit and unique approaches to business.

"Basically what this does is it really puts us in this league of the big six agencies," Gores said. "In terms of live performance, we have a world-class list now that really is second to nobody."

Gores and MPA co-founder Dan Weiner believe that the resources Paradigm offers were instrumental in his and Paradigm's recent signing of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, who will tour together in 2008 in support of an October release on Rounder.

"This is a perfect example of what this can mean," Weiner said. "This is the first time in my life I had artists who really wanted all this and … the resources of the agency to make it happen."

Veteran agent Chip Hooper agrees that little has changed.

"We have other services we can offer to our artists now, and now we're sharing ideas and information and pursuing business together," he said. "We're still handling artists the same way with the same passion we've always had. Now we just have more support to offer them."

LBM founder Marty Diamond saw a need from artists for broader representation.

"The clients we represent wanted to do other stuff — they wanted to have genuine access, as did we," he said. "You can't go to every act and say, 'We can get you on TV; we can get you in movies.' But we're trying to do some things that take the right shots."

Hooper will oversee the music division out of Monterey, supported by veteran agent Jonathan Levine and Monterey founders Weiner and Fred Bohlander.

Diamond and Larry Webman will continue running what was LBM out of New York in new offices combined with the rest of Paradigm's New York staff. All music offices, including the busy Nashville office, will collaborate on projects with Paradigm L.A.

Ray Waddell is an executive director at Billboard.