Rep Sheet Roundup: Tamar Braxton Signs With APA
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 email@example.com.
Tamar Braxton has signed with APA. She stars with her four older sisters — Toni, Traci, Towanda and Trina — and their mother, Evelyn, on WE tv's Braxton Family Values, and opposite Snoop Dogg in the stage musical Redemption of a Dogg. Last year she released her fifth studio album, Bluebird of Happiness, which hit No. 14 on the Billboard 200 and No. 8 on its top R&B/hip-hop albums chart.
A current affair
Endeavor Content, which shares a parent company with WME, has hired Francisco Arias as senior vp and associate general counsel, and head of the scripted TV department's legal and business affairs. The Los Angeles-based Arias spent the past 13 years in business affairs at CBS Television Studios, where he most recently served as senior vp overseeing non-broadcast scripted and all nonscripted TV, negotiating license deals with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Hulu and Google/YouTube. He previously worked at ABC/Touchstone handling business affairs for such primetime series as Desperate Housewives and Scrubs.
Former Machinima executive Amber Howard has joined Abrams as an agent focusing on talent and branding deals in the esports and gaming sectors. Her previous experience includes helping gamer Natalie Casanova cross over into Fox's Kicking and Screaming and leading Machinima's casting and negotiation efforts for Transformers: Combiner Wars. She also has worked with DigiTour talent, executed a brand deal between Converse and PAX West and helped Univision create its own multicultural creators' network. Howard began her career in tech but began to transition to media as she oversaw talent initiatives for such companies as Discovery, NFL Network and IMG.
"Amber brings a fresh breadth and depth into her new role as an Abrams Artists Agency agent," the partners said in a joint statement. "She is bringing a unique skill set in working with talent and her recent specialization in eSports and gaming, which includes brand deals, is at the forefront of the new division's goals and objectives. We are confident she will provide great insights into the company and our growth."
U.K.-based booking agency CODA has partnered with Crockford Management and Independent Talent Group to create CODA Independent Sports, launching with a roster of soccer players including the Premier League's Jordon Ibe, Kortney Hause and Kadeem Harris.
"CODA Independent Sports is a unique offering combining business expertise with personal attention and access to a global infrastructure across all media unparalleled in the sports field," said Paul Crockford, who in 1987 founded Crockford Management, whose roster of musicians includes Mark Knopfler, Youngr, Blue Americans, Basic Tape, Wild Front and Rothwell. Added CODA partner James Whitting in a statement: "Just need to sign some Arsenal players and that will be job done!"
In other news, CODA has tapped veteran brand partnerships executive Debbie Ward to lead its branding, sponsorship and corporate team. "I'm really looking forward to this new challenge — CODA has a stellar reputation and an epic portfolio of artists," said Ward, whose two decades of experience includes leading brand integration at festivals such as Wilderness and Lovebox and more recently launching Global's festival brand business of 19 live assets.
"We are delighted to welcome Debbie to CODA," Whitting said in a statement. "Debbie comes with a vast knowledge of the branding and sponsorship world, and we are very excited for the prospect of the additional services and revenues she is going to bring to our clients."
A nice holiday bonus
O'Melveny & Myers has added nine lawyers to its 2019 partner class, the fifth straight year when women comprise more than 40 percent of the new class, and the fourth straight class when more than 50 percent of the incoming partners are women, people of color and/or LGBT. In fact, nearly 80 percent of 2019's class identifies as at least one of those categories.
"Each of our new partners embodies the qualities and values we hold dear, including top-flight legal skill, unflagging dedication to clients and a commitment to improving our communities," O'Melveny chair Bradley J. Butwin said in a statement. "We're particularly pleased that this year's class of nine partners again exemplifies O'Melveny's longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. We know we are stronger for it."
The incoming partners are:
— Alicja Biskupska-Haas (New York), who graduated magna cum laude from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law and joined O'Melveny in 2011. She advises fund managers, represents institutional investors and counsels clients on investment-related matters.
— Hannah Chanoine (New York), who was twice named James Kent Scholar and currently teaches as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia Law. Joining O'Melveny in 2015, she advocates for clients facing consumer class action suits and specializes in advising consumer packaged goods and consumer electronics companies in nationwide false advertising cases.
— Mia Gonzalez (New York), who joined O'Melveny in 2008 after graduating from Columbia, where she earned her master's and law degrees. She is a member of the White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations practice while maintaining active pro bono work in criminal and civil matters.
— Susannah Howard (San Francisco), who earned both undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Toronto and joined O'Melveny in 2012. She specializes in representing employers in discrimination, harassment and pay equity matters.
— Dimitri Portnoi (Los Angeles), who graduated magna cum laude from NYU Law and in 2011 joined O'Melveny, where he is a core member of its Water Industry Group. He also maintains a pro bono practice and his work for the LGBT community earned him the firm's Warren Christopher Values Award.
— Daniel Suvor (Los Angeles), who graduated from GW Law, served as chief of policy and senior counsel to then-California attorney general Kamala Harris, and joined O'Melveny in 2017. Now he is a strategic adviser in high-stakes litigation, government investigations and regulatory matters and continues to be active in issues and initiatives involving the Latino community.
— Xin-Yi (Vincent) Zhou (Los Angeles), who received bachelor's and master's engineering degrees at Cornell and Stanford, respectively, before graduating from UCLA Law in 2007 and joining O'Melveny that year. The fluent Mandarin speaker's past career as a microchip engineer lends itself to his specialty in patent and trade secret litigation involving technology.
— Ke Zhu (Hong Kong), who earned master of law degrees from Oxford and Columbia and joined O'Melveny in 2015, helping the firm establish itself as a go-to for Hong Kong IPOs, public mergers and acquisitions and privatizations.
— Joseph Zujkowski (New York), who graduated from BU Law and joined O'Melveny in 2013. In addition to working in the firm's Bankruptcy & Restructuring Group, he serves as an adjunct professor at Cardozo Law and works pro bono as part of the firm's relationship with Kids in Need of Defense.
The spooky truth
Verve has signed Cat Solen, director and executive producer of Adult Swim's new animated series The Shivering Truth, starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. She also has directed several episodes of Universal Kids' upcoming preschool series Moon and Me. In addition to selling original series The Devil in the Details to FX with Dan Harmon attached as producer, she has worked with the likes of Michel and Olivier Gondry, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bright Eyes and Sia on commercials and music videos. Solen continues to be represented by Circle of Confusion and Lichter Grossman.
Others on the dotted line
UTA has signed emerging TV writer Linda Ge, a member of the inaugural class of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's premium content incubator Imagine Impact, where she developed crime drama Canary. She was previously an entertainment trade journalist, where her bylines included articles for THR, The Wrap, The Mary Sue and Tracking Board. Ge continues to be represented by Writ Large.
Katz PR has signed Kai Wener, who recurs as Ty Finn on Fox's The Orville. He also has appeared in Days of Our Lives and Nickelodeon's Game Shakers; commercials for Walt Disney World, McDonald's, Honda, Burger King and Amazon; and print ads for Got Milk? and Disney. Wener continues to be represented by Abrams for theatrical and CESD for modeling.
New York-based creative services company BigStar has hired John Leamy as creative director. Leamy's design work includes live show graphics and film and print work for U2; he is currently working on title design and branding for the upcoming PBS docuseries Chasing the Moon. As executive creative director at Leroy & Clarkson, he most recently led projects for National Geographic, Nasdaq, Nickelodeon and ABC News. For its part, BigStar created the main titles, VFX sequences and graphics package for NatGeo's Free Solo and has launched shows and campaigns for FX, HBO, ABC, Amazon, AMC, Turner and Syfy.
Elsewhere in Rep World: