Paradigm’s CEO Says the Music Division Isn’t Being Sold Off — But “Unique Opportunities” Lie Ahead

Paradigm Talent Agency's Chairman Walks Away From UTA's Acquisition Offer
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Paradigm Talent Agency CEO Sam Gores has flatly denied that his company’s music division is being sold. However, he admitted in the same internally circulated memo that “unique opportunities” are currently available to Paradigm.

Several recent reports indicated that Gores was in talks to sell Paradigm’s music wing to Casey Wasserman, the grandson of pioneering Hollywood talent agent Lew Wasserman. In many ways, the present time seems optimal for a sale.

Predictably, the touring-representation powerhouse was forced to part with a substantial number of its employees shortly after the domestic onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Given that signed stars like Ed Sheeran and Halsey were (and are) unable to book live performances, the move appeared painful but necessary.

As icing on the cake, former Paradigm employee Debbee Klein named Sam Gores in an ugly, $2 million lawsuit towards the beginning of April. The legal complaint alleges, among other things, that Gores encouraged Klein to provide a piece of her salary to the company, so as to create the impression of a boosted income stream. Klein also said that Gores used “Paradigm’s expense account as a slush fund to pay for his sexual dalliances with prostitutes.”

CEO Gores previously denied that his company was for sale in February, when reports emerged that the talent agency was in preliminary talks to be bought by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA). In the email sent this week, Gores pushed back against claims that Paradigm (or any portion of Paradigm) was being sold. “There is no agreement to sell Paradigm,” wrote the Israel native, “nor is any sale imminent.”

Even so, it bears mentioning that Gores’s address proceeded to state: “this environment has created unique opportunities, and we [Paradigm execs] are — as you might expect — looking at a number of them.”

It appears highly likely that at least a portion of these “unique opportunities” involved a possible sale to Casey Wasserman, though Wasserman hasn’t yet addressed the matter publicly.