EXCLUSIVE: Creative Artists Agency will be instituting staff reductions, Deadline has learned. The round of layoffs, expected early next week (possibly Aug. 15), will impact about 60 people across a number of divisions, I hear. That is a fraction of the agency’s global headcount, which is in the thousands.
According to sources, the trims are the result of a long process of examining optimal staff levels for each department that started months ago, before the WGA went on strike May 2. Still, the decisions were likely informed by the ongoing writer and actor work stoppages, which have had a serious impact on talent agencies and management companies.
The layoffs come a month and a half after the one-year anniversary of the CAA acquisition of ICM Partners. There had been a lot of anxiety in the months leading to the anniversary as the junior, non-partner ICM agents had been given one-year CAA contracts at the time of the merger. According to sources, the cuts are not related to that, and former ICM agents were not targeted more than their CAA-proper colleagues.
Also not factoring into the staff reduction process is CAA’s potential sale to French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, who reportedly has been in talks to buy a majority stake in the talent agency for $7 billion, though any step to strengthen a company’s balance sheet automatically makes it more attractive to buyers.
The top Hollywood talent agencies, which are all diversified beyond film and TV representation with sports, music/touring, book and other departments not affected by the strikes, had not undergone layoffs related to the work stoppages 101 days into the WGA strike and a month into the SAG-AFTRA one.