Rep Sheet Roundup: WME Signs Trio of Hit Rock Bands From CAA
THR’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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The music exodus continues
Kings of Leon, Train and Dead & Company have exited CAA for WME. Over the past three weeks, a trio of music agents have left the former agency’s Nashville office for the latter’s, led by co-head Scott Clayton, who now also leads WME’s rock division. The other two reps who have made the move are Matthew Morgan and Buster Phillips.
- Kings of Leon, which previously were represented by CAA in the U.S., has now signed with WME worldwide and in all areas. The Followill family of “Sex on Fire” fame has sold more than 21 million albums and more than 38 million singles, including five on the Billboard Hot 100. All seven of its studio albums have been on the Billboard 200, including the latest, WALLS, which dropped in October at No. 1 in the U.S., U.K., Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and Austria. The band has won four Grammys, three NME Awards, two Brits Awards and one Juno Award. Kings of Leon continues to be managed by Ken Levitan and Andy Mendelsohn at Vector Management.
- Train also has signed with WME in all areas. As the “Meet Virginia” band nears its 20th anniversary, it has sold more than 10 million albums, including sophomore Drops of Jupiter, whose title track spent 10 months in the Top 40 and won two Grammys. The group later won another Grammy nine years later for “Hey Soul Sister,” which was 2010’s most downloaded single. Train released its eighth studio album, A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat, via Columbia Records in January. The band continues to be managed by Crush Music.
- Dead & Company, which consists of the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir along with John Mayer, Allman Brothers’ Oteil Burbridge and Fare Thee Well’s Jeff Chimenti, has signed with WME in all areas. The band began touring with sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in 2015 and has since embarked on three record-breaking U.S. tours. This summer it attracted nearly 500,000 fans to 20 shows, including a two-night stand at the Hollywood Bowl. The remainder of its performances this year have been rescheduled following Mayer’s emergency appendectomy, announced last week. Dead & Company continues to be managed by Bernie Cahill and Irving Azoff/Steve Moir.
In addition to the trio of agents and artists, former CAA human resources executive Brandi Brammer also has joined WME in Nashville in a new position that will involve developing business strategy, client relations and daily operations as well as serving as a liaison with WME’s other offices.
At CAA, Brammer grew the agency’s Nashville office from 38 to more than 120 employees and served as lead HR Business Partner and Recruiter for CAA throughout the Southeast region. She began her career at CAA in Los Angeles and then left the agency to serve as director of events for the Academy of Country Music before rejoining CAA in Nashville in 2007. She recently received her second consecutive Women in Music City Award by the Nashville Business Journal.
“We are thrilled that Brandi has decided to join our team in Nashville,” Clayton said in a statement. “I am excited to continue our successful 10-year-plus partnership, and we are all looking forward to working with Brandi to grow WME’s business in Nashville and around the globe.”
WME also has promoted Sarah van Hoven to director of HR for the Nashville office, where she will continue to serve as HR lead for the 119 employees there.
More Music City moves
Paradigm’s Nashville office has moved into a larger space downtown. The new building, at 222 Second Avenue South, contains a performance space and features panoramic views of the Cumberland River, Ascend Amphitheater, the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge and Nissan Stadium.
“Since Paradigm first opened a Nashville office 14 years ago, we have carved an independent path into Music City,” chairman and CEO Sam Gores said in a statement. “Since moving to Nashville from Monterey five years ago, our office head Jonathan Levine’s leadership and impeccable taste have anchored the growth of an extraordinary and unique Third Coast presence for our agency.”
“Over the last few years we have watched our business grow and thrive exponentially, not unlike the city of Nashville,” Levine said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be moving downtown and want the new offices to be a welcome destination for our diverse roster of artists.”
Tori Spelling has signed with Abrams’ digital department. She will continue to be represented by ICM Partners in all other areas. “The development of our strong digital team and a stealth approach to helping all clients attract and retain traditional and digital fans and followings is important in the vast media climate we are amidst,” Abrams founder and CEO Harry Abrams said in a statement. “We could not be happier to be supporting Tori Spelling’s vision to take her efforts to a new level within the social media realms.”
Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhane Wallis has signed with manager Sherry Kayne at The Green Room. She will also continue to be managed by Qulyndreia Wallis at Jarece Productions.
After becoming Oscar’s youngest nominee ever, the actress starred in Sony’s Annie remake, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. Her other credits include 12 Years a Slave, The Prophet, Fathers and Daughters and Trolls. This fall she released the children’s books A Night Out With Mama and Shai & Emmie Star in Break an Egg!, with follow-ups Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants! and Shai & Emmie Star in to the Rescue! now available for preorder. Wallis continues to be represented by agent Andrea Nelson Meigs at ICM Partners.
Conquering another continent
Actor Matt William Knowles has signed with the U.K.’s Independent Talent Group. The first American to graduate from the Beijing Film Academy, the former Clemson football player is now enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’s MA program. Knowles, who is fluent in Mandarin, has appeared in multiple Chinese dramas and variety shows and next will be seen as one of the stars of Asura, a $100 million fantasy epic slated to be released in China next year. He continues to be represented by 3 Arts.
Others on the dotted line
Cinematographer Kai Saul has signed with agency Dattner Dispoto and Associates. His recent credits include the short films Home Shopper, Your Day and Hum.
Elsewhere in Rep World:
ICM Partners Pledges to Reach 50-50 Gender Parity by 2020