Following months of speculation, an announcement on the proposed merger between William Morris Agency and Endeavor is expected to materialise early this week.
Boards from each agency will vote imminently on a move that would create a greatly enhanced portfolio of services under one banner and give entertainment giant CAA a run for its money. It is understood the new company will be called WME Entertainment.
The merger will combine William Morris’ powerhouse music department with Endeavor’s arguably more robust talent, television and film packaging businesses.
It remains to be seen whether William Morris chief Jim Wiatt or Endeavor founder Ari Emanuel will run the new company and indeed conflicting egos, interests and details relating to compensation packages across the board have been major stumbling blocks in the process.
Such a merger would create opportunities for smaller, more nimble agencies like UTA, Paradigm and Gersh to focus on consolidating their core areas of specialty. At this point it also remained unclear how the merger would affect both agencies’ independent film packaging divisions, Endeavor Independent and William Morris Independent.
Inevitably there will be job losses as the move creates overlap among both companies’ considerable employee bases. Rival agencies will undoubtedly benefit from a surge in applications from recently laid-off agents.
WMA and Endeavor are situated in Beverly Hills virtually across the road from one another and sometime in 2010 are expected to move into a new six-story building currently under construction in the heart of town.