Michele Bernstein to Launch Her Own Company And Transition Out of Current Role at WME

Michele Bernstein
Saman Assefi

Michele Bernstein

After 18 years at agency, global tour marketing guru says she's ready to pull the trigger on business idea she's been working on for months

Veteran tour marketing executive Michele Bernstein is transitioning out of the Endeavor-owned WME agency to form her own marketing consultancy firm, Michi B, Inc, as part of a long-planned shift toward new opportunities in the ever-changing music business.

Endeavor will be Bernstein's first client as part of a long-term agreement with the company and Bernstein will continue to advise current WME client projects under her management. Bernstein's new company will provide a broad array of marketing and brand consultancy services to artists and companies in the music business.

"I get asked to do a lot of things that are outside the scope of the agency and this is an opportunity to exercise new parts of my brain on multi-faceted projects," she says.

Bernstein had been planning the move for about six months and tells Billboard that the decision to launch her company is not connected to the reshuffling of the music department at WME, which began in June with the exit of former music co-head Marc Geiger and the shift in roles for former music co-head Sara Newkirk Simon.

"It has nothing to do with that, I've been thinking about making this move for sometime," she explains. "I'm super excited and I'm grateful that both the former and the current management team have always been supportive of getting this done," she said.

During Bernstein's 18-year career at the William Morris Agency and then WME, Bernstein built out WME's global tour marketing team that now spans Beverly Hills, Nashville, New York, Sydney and London. She led forward-thinking marketing strategies for sold out tours including Pearl Jam, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, Lizzo and Drake, served as an advisor for the Ohana Festival in Dana Point, California, and has been instrumental in launching several non-traditional touring models, including the celebrity chef touring business for chefs Guy Fieri and Alton Brown. She was instrumental in helping to develop Conan O'Brien's groundbreaking comedy tour, Hugh Jackman's one-man show and Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend multi-city tour. Bernstein has been recognized for her work by Billboard's Women in Music list and Pollstar's Impact 50 list. Prior to the William Morris Agency, Bernstein served as the lead booker for the Hard Rock organization.

"The modern music business demands a unique perspective in capturing consumers where they listen and how they consume music, and Michi B. Inc. aims to converge all of that into individualized campaigns for each of our clients," she tells Billboard. "I am tremendously grateful for this chapter at WME, and equally grateful to be able to continue working with these colleagues and clients, all of whom have become an integral part of my life,"

WME music co-heads Scott Clayton, Lucy Dickins and Kirk Sommer released a statement applauding Bernstein's move, saying, "Michele is a visionary and has played a critical role in building out our Tour Marketing practice for our clients globally, and we are beyond grateful for all of her contributions to the agency. We look forward to continuing to work alongside her and supporting her in her new venture for many years to come."

WME's tour marketing team will continue to be led by John Adams, Levi Jackson, Danny Lieberman, Joao Pedro Viana and Sara Williams. Adams and Lieberman are based in Los Angeles, Williams is based in WME's Nashville office and Jackson and Viana are based in WME's London office.

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