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A week after their high-profile exits, agents who represented A-list clients ranging from Michael Bay and Margot Robbie to Zac Efron and Tiffany Haddish have launched Range Media Partners, a new management and brand development company.
Dave Bugliari, Mackenzie Condon Roussos, Rich Cook, Michael Cooper, Susie Fox, Sandra Kang, Rachel Kropa, Chelsea McKinnies, Peter Micelli, Lucinda Moorhead, Mick Sullivan and Jack Whigham, who left agencies CAA, UTA, and WME, are the founding partners in the new company. New York-based manager Byron Wetzel also joined last week.
The initial focus will be on film and television talent, but the company said Wednesday that an additional founding member who will lead a music division will be announced soon.
While having financial backing from Micelli, who recently led strategy at production company Entertainment One and was key in the company’s multibillion-dollar acquisition deal by Hasbro, Range also has a substantial minority investment led by Point72 Ventures, the early-stage venture capital firm founded by Steve Cohen. Other backers include former New York Knicks coach David Fizdale, former Microsoft chief marketing officer Mich Mathews-Spradlin, and Grubhub founder and CEO Matt Maloney.
No talent names were revealed on the company’s roster, but it is known that Taron Egerton, Keira Knightley and Michael Fassbender are among those who have left CAA to head to the new shop. Also, Wetzel is bringing Michael Shannon as part of his stable.
In a joint statement, the founders said, “We are incredibly proud to begin this exciting adventure together. Each of us brings something unique and impactful to the table that contributes to our company’s mission and overall success. We want to take a deep, personal approach to our clients’ work while continuing to deliver great results. We have the utmost gratitude to those that have nurtured and supported our work for years, and we look forward to our continued collaboration. The entertainment community is such a special collection of hardworking artists and personalities, and we are honored to work alongside everyone.”
The founding of the firm was a secret affair that began in March and caught most unawares. Because of the secrecy, chatter in Hollywood circles has focused on a potential management war for clients as well as Cohen’s past legal troubles.
A deck, described as an early draft that eventually served as a pitch to investors, also made the rounds last week, giving the impression that the new firm was taking a shot at the major agencies. Insiders paint a different picture, with sources saying the company is being collaborative and following a non-poaching rule.
The goal of the new company is to offer, according to sources, “intimate, curated representation” and bringing a “family style” tone to the company and to representation.
The founders are taking financial hits on making the move, but it could pay off in the long run. Everyone starting with Range Media, including assistants (which in this company’s culture are called “associates”), will have equity in the company.
While managers will for the most part work from home, Micelli’s Brentwood abode, with substantial backyard space, will serve as the de facto headquarters and meeting place in the initial year as offices in Hollywood remain shut because of COVID-19. (His family is residing in Lake Tahoe for the duration.)
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