Rep Sheet Roundup: CAA Signs NBC News' Leigh Ann Caldwell

Leigh Ann Caldwell - H - 2019
Frank Thorpe V

The Hollywood Reporter’s at-a-glance look at the week in representation news

Who got signed, promoted, hired or fired? The Hollywood Reporter’s Rep Sheet rounds up the week in representation news. To submit announcements for consideration, contact

Wading through the swamp

CAA has signed NBC News political reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell and already has closed a deal for her to serve as a D.C.-based correspondent for the network. In addition to covering presidential and midterm elections, she also broke news about Brett Cavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation battle and the Republicans' attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Caldwell previously worked for CNN and CBS News.

CAA also has signed composer Beau Black, who received a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2017 for an original song he wrote for Disney Channel's The Lion Guard. This year he is working on the soundtrack for Disney Junior's upcoming The Rocketeer animated series. He also has composed for Google, AT&T, Samsung, Target and Old Navy.

Paradigm shifts

Director Raja Gosnell has signed with Paradigm. He's best known for helming Never Been Kissed, and his other credits include Big Momma's House, Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, The Smurfs, The Smurfs 2 and most recently Show Dogs.

Paradigm also has hired talent agent Ashley Hanley from APA. The USC alumna's clients include Sinqua Wells (Netflix's Otherhood), Parisa Fitz-Henley (Sony/Blumhouse's Fantasy Island), Yvette Monreal (DC Universe's Stargirl), Tracy Ifeachor (ABC's Quantico), Emeraude Toubia (Freeform's Shadowhunters) and Darren Mann (Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina).

Joining Hanley as agents are New York-based trainees Valerie Champeau, Katelyn Dougherty and Rachel Ellicott. The agency also has hired Chappel McCollister as senior vp strategic partnerships in its Nashville office.

She's every woman

Chaka Khan has signed with ICM Partners for worldwide representation in all areas. The 10-time Grammy winner released her 12th studio album, Hello Happiness, in February and this year also was named the first black Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade. In April, the musical legend teamed with her longtime manager and creative director George Fuller and Indique Hair to launch a full collection of wigs and hairpieces. "Chaka Khan is more than an artist; she is a world-renowned icon," ICM head of music Mark Siegel, who will lead her team of agents, said in a statement. "Her timeless music and unmatched style has blazed a path for generations of music creators, and we are excited to have the privilege to be a part of her incredible team."

ICM also has signed alt-rock band Phantom Planet, perhaps best known for its hit song about its home state, "California," which served as the theme song for The O.C. The band went on hiatus after the 2008 release of its fourth album, Raise the Dead, and reunited earlier this year, the 25th anniversary of its formation. Two weeks ago they released "Balisong" and are currently working on their fifth studio album with Raise the Dead producer Tony Berg. Phantom Planet is managed by Brad Aarons at New Community Management/Roc Nation.

Stars repping stars

Vanessa Williams has signed with artist management firm Sterling Winters Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of kathy ireland Worldwide. SWC will manage the actress and singer in all areas, including theatrical, music, licensing and branding.

"Vanessa is a global pop culture icon and an artistic treasure," said Ireland, who will be part of Williams' management team alongside SWC/kiWW president and CMO Stephen Roseberry, exec vp and global creative director Jon Carrasco, exec vp concerts and artist administration Steve Rosenblum and exec vp content and broadcasting Steven Glick, who will serve as point. "All of us at Sterling Winters Company and kiWW have admired her limitless talent, inspiring beauty and incredible career accomplishments for years, as well as her unwavering dedication to making the world place through her advocacy and philanthropic endeavors."

Williams recently starred in the ABC pilot The Happy Accident and will soon be heard in Disney Junior's upcoming animated series T.O.T.S.

"I am thrilled to join the stellar team of Sterling Winters Company/kathy ireland Worldwide," Williams said in a statement. "Their excellence, knowledge and bravery in every facet of multiple businesses make me so excited about my future endeavors and very secure with my diverse career opportunities."

Other icons for whom SWC/kiWW has managed and worked on marketing and licensing campaigns include Janet Jackson and the late Elizabeth Taylor.

Williams continues to be represented by UTA for theatrical, ICM Partners for music and by attorneys P.J. Shapiro and Julian Zajfen at Ziffren Brittenham.

Branding Endeavor

Endeavor has hired Apple Music/iTunes global head of content strategy and lifestyle marketing Justina Omokhua as senior vp brand marketing, a newly created position.

The move reunites her with former Apple Music marketing exec and current Endeavor CMO Bozoma Saint John, to whom she will report. Omokhua, who will be based in the Beverly Hills office, previously worked at agencies including Carat and Erwin Penland and for brands including Pepsi, Nokia and L'Oreal. She currently sits on the advisory board for I.D.E.A Labs and Power Strides Career and Executive Coaching and has served as a United Nations Social Impact Summit delegate.

Others on the dotted line

Lee Daniels has signed with New York-based public relations and marketing firm The Chamber Group.

ID PR has recently signed John Legend, as well as Master of None and Forever creator Alan Yang.

Katz PR has signed Jason Lewis, best known for playing Samantha's endgame love interest Smith on Sex and the City. He most recently starred on NBC's Midnight, Texas. Lewis continues to be represented by Buchwald and Silver Lining.

More/Medavoy has signed actor and motivational speaker Dondre Whitfield, who plays Remy Newell on OWN's Queen Sugar. His first book, Male vs. Man, will be published by Zondervan early next year.

Management/production company Entertainment Lab has opened a New York location in midtown Manhattan and also hired manager Brendle Canda, formerly of Apex Talent Group, in its Beverly Hills headquarters.

PR firm Supersonix Media has signed:

  • Mexican actor and comedian Omar Chaparro, who most recently can be seen in Warner Bros.' Pokemon: Detective Pikachu. He continues to be managed by Talent on the Road.
  • Erika Hau, who currently stars on Netflix's zombie series Black Summer. She continues to be repped by KC Talent.

Management company Emagine Content has signed Nadine Marissa, who has played Nabila on AMC's The Walking Dead for the past three seasons.

NMA PR has signed Jacob Vargas, who can now be seen in the feature Peel starring Emile Hirsch and next co-stars on Netflix's upcoming comedy series Mr. Iglesias. He continues to be represented by Innovative and Luber Roklin.

UTA has signed electronic trio Cheat Codes, whose Demi Lovato-featuring single "No Promises" was nominated for top dance/electronic song at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.

MDM Media has signed two publicity clients:

  • singer Kima Raynor Dyson. Best known as a member of the R&B trio Total, she is now embarking on a solo musical career as well as acting, appearing in the upcoming indie drama To Live and Die in Bed-Stuy.
  • Psychedelic future pop funk artist Man Akin and his Los Angeles-based label Blossöm Records. He released single "Camo" on May 17 exclusively on Shazam.

Alana Yankowitz has left PR Dept. to join Pfeiffer Consulting as director of events and publicity for Los Angeles.

Tool of North America has signed Korean director Na Frenette.

Saville Productions has signed director and cinematographer Michael Bernard for U.S. branded entertainment representation.

Commercial production company Biscuit Filmworks has signed director Justin Kurzel.

Los Angeles and New York-based commercial production company Mutt Film has signed British director Gerard de Thame.

Elsewhere in Rep World:

Demi Lovato Hires Scooter Braun as New Manager as She Begins Her "Next Chapter"

UTA Hires Publishing Agent Pilar Queen

'Nashville' Alum Charles Esten Signs With APA for Music

Abrams Artists Agency Opens In-House Podcast Studio