WMA veteran Kaplan exits


William Morris' top scripted TV agent Aaron Kaplan is leaving to launch a management and production company.

Kaplan, an 18-year WMA veteran, rose to worldwide head of scripted television and packaging after joining the agency's mailroom in 1991.

His exit comes as WMA and Endeavor are going through the regulatory process to finalize their merger into WME Entertainment.

Kaplan's departure is said to be amicable. The agent, in the midst of an ongoing contract at WMA, had been asked to stay on in the new entity, but after weighing his options, he made the decision Saturday to leave and start a new company.

Details on Kaplan's new company are being worked out, but it is envisioned as a provider of wide range of content.

Kaplan is expected to stay on at WMA to help with transitioning his clients, who include Barry Sonnenfeld, Carlton Cuse, Darren Star and Jenji Kohan.

It is not clear yet if he will continue to represent any of them as a manager.

Kaplan was named to WMA's top scripted TV post in 2005 and also has been a board member at the agency.

With Kaplan's future determined, the biggest pre-merger question mark on the TV side at WMA remains Mark Itkin, co-head of worldwide television, who after overtures with CAA might end up staying put at WME.

Also expected to continue at WME is WMA's head of TV lit, Cori Wellins, who has been a rising star at the agency.