UTA to Cut Staff Amid Acquisition Spree
The layoffs are said to be impacting a single digit percentage of a workforce that totals 2,000 employees.
United Talent Agency, which had been on an acquisition spree nabbing multiple boutique firms, is undergoing a round of layoffs, the company said Wednesday. The cuts at the Jeremy Zimmer-led agency are said to be impacting a single digit percentage of a workforce that totals 2,000 employees.
“We’ve grown a great deal over the last several years, and as a result decided to make some adjustments,” a UTA spokesperson said. “We’re unfortunately parting ways with a small number of colleagues and are grateful for everything they’ve contributed.”
Last year marked a period of expansion for the Beverly Hills-based agency, which closed a $125 million deal for strategic advisory firm MediaLink, bought U.K. literary and talent Agency Curtis Brown Group, snapped up data firm Mediahound and secured capital from private equity firm EQT. In January, UTA added literary agency Fletcher & Company to its assets.
This month saw a strategic shake-up at the top level of the firm, with the company adding two new independent directors, Paul Wachter and Ceci Kurzman, to its board while UTA co-founder Jim Berkus steps away from the chairman role after more than two decades.
Recently, Zimmer has been outspoken about the need for the industry to rethink talent deals, giving multiple interviews to business media outlets advocating for a more transparent payment system from streaming partners. “For the creative community, what’s needed boils down to accurately measuring how well an individual show or film is doing against others — and an increased level of compensation for those creating outsize value,” the UTA chief wrote in a Hollywood Reporter guest column in November.
The representation space has been consolidating in recent years, as agency giants like UTA and WME bolt on specialized firms to grow their client bases. And Creative Artists Agency’s June 2022 close of a $750 million deal for its rival ICM led to agent defections even as it built a combined firm of around 3,200 employees. Deadline earlier reported the UTA staff cuts made on Wednesday.
More to come.
This story was originally published at THR.com.