LBM, MPA singing a new tune at Paradigm

Little Big Man, Monterey Peninsula Artists join agency

NASHVILLE -- The Paradigm shift is almost complete. Monterey Peninsula Artists and Little Big Man will be fully integrated into the Paradigm Talent Agency fold, and 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 Aerosmith, Dave Matthews Band, Toby Keith, the Black Crowes, Gov't Mule and Black Eyed Peas. Meanwhile, LBM, whose roster includes such acts as Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, the Fray, Avril Lavigne 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 Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Dennis Franz and Marc Cherry.

LBM was acquired by Paradigm in September, and MPA in January 2005. But all concerned say 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 2007 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, who joined MPA in 1988, agrees that on the surface 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," Hooper 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," Diamond 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. "We continue to do what we've always done," Weiner said.

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.

"This gives Dan and I the opportunity to spend a little more time pursuing artists we can give more time to, and it gives Jonathan (Levine) and Chip (Hooper) and Marty (Diamond) and Larry (Webman) a chance to step up to the plate and have a say in the larger situation and get more deeply involved with all the clients," Bohlander said. "I think for them it's extremely exciting because they're horizons are really broad now."