CAA's Gabler slips into new Pants


After more than 40 years in the agency world, CAA co-chairman and partner Lee Gabler is making the transition to producing. Gabler is leaving CAA to join Worldwide Pants Inc., the production company of his longtime client David Letterman, as consultant.

Tuesday was Gabler's last day at the agency, which he joined in 1983.

"After a long and wonderful career as an agent, I have decided that now is the time to take a different path," Gabler said. "It has been a privilege to have been a part of CAA for nearly 25 years. Fortunately, I will continue to work closely with my colleagues at CAA in my new role with Dave and Worldwide Pants."

Gabler will start at WWP effective immediately and will be based in California.

"Lee has been super important to us for many, many years in his role at CAA, so when he left the agency, we're thrilled he'd consider coming and consulting for us," WWP president and CEO Rob Burnett said. "He has more experience in showbiz than most people and yet somehow he remains current and cutting-age in his thinking. He is a great adviser and wiseman to have around."

After Gabler's departure, WWP will continue to be repped by CAA.

"We're very excited to continue our very successful partnership with CAA," Burnett said.

Gabler ran CAA's television department from 1989-2005 before he took a step back, giving the reins to CAA veteran Steve Lafferty, who took over running the day-to-day operations of the department under Gabler's direction (HR 3/20/05). Through the years, Gabler -- a well-liked and respected industry veteran -- represented some of the top TV creators and performers, including Aaron Spelling and Letterman.

"Lee's indelible imprint on the culture and success of CAA is without question," CAA's Bryan Lourd said. "He has been a mentor to so many at the agency, a consummate champion for our clients, and, most of all, a friend to whom we all feel enormous gratitude. We look forward to continuing to work with Lee in his new position."

Gabler began his career in the early 1960s in the mailroom of ICM predecessor Ashley Steiner Famous Artists in New York, where he became an agent in 1964. He was promoted to vp four years later. In 1970, Gabler transferred to ICM's West Coast office, where he worked as executive vp and head of worldwide television.

Gabler serves on the board of trustees of the Museum of Television & Radio and the board of councilors at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He previously served as vp of the Hollywood Radio & Television Society and a member of the board at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. n