William Morris Endeavor Hires GSA’s Newman and Launches Composer Division; Signs Hans Zimmer, David Newman and Paul Williams

Film Music Magazine • May 23, 2011

William Morris Endeavor (WME), one of the top talent agencies in Hollywood, has hired Amos Newman from the Gorfaine-Schwartz agency (GSA) and launched a composer division, taking Hans Zimmer from GSA and David Newman in the first weeks of operation. WME has also reportedly signed ASCAP president Paul Williams.

Newman will report to music department head Marc Geiger and WME’s Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell.

Amos Newman is the son of veteran composer Randy Newman, and will head a new division of WME focusing on music for film, television, games, online and mobile. WME already represents top recording acts including Kanye West, Lady Ga Ga, LCD Soundsystem, The Chemical Brothers, and Nine Inch Nails.

According to a story in Deadline Hollywood, WME¹s hiring of Amos Newman reportedly came as a shock for GSA Music heads Mike Gorfaine and Sam Schwartz, who according to the Deadline Hollywood story had enlisted Wachovia Partners and manager Gary Feldman to find a buyer for GSA, with no success amid concerns of a lack of younger stars in GSA¹s roster.

A looming figure in the WME situation is composer Alan Elliott, President of the Composers Guild of America, whose best man when he was married was WME co-CEO Ariel Emanuel. Elliott has long enjoyed a working relationship with Newman, and has been working closely with Newman to form the composer roster at WME, meeting with prominent composers since the division was launched.

It is unknown whether the commitment of WME to represent film composers will be followed by the other top Hollywood agencies UTA, CAA and Paradigm following suit. Traditional Hollywood agencies have not pursued representing composers, leaving that to smaller boutique agencies of which GSA is the largest.

Comments

By Chris Alpiar on May 23rd, 2011 at 9:49 am

wow thats a pretty serious power play. What are the implications to GFA? I mean, GF has been the empire of composer agents for decades. Is this a good thing or a bad thing for composers? Any thoughts? I am very curious :-)

By Adam DiTroia on May 23rd, 2011 at 10:25 am

Very interesting. I would hope that companies such as WME would take on a few mid level composers like myself but I doubt it. Worth I shot I suppose.

By Phil on May 25th, 2011 at 4:03 pm

For some reason, I find this a bit concerning: “WME already represents top recording acts including Kanye West, Lady Ga Ga, LCD Soundsystem, The Chemical Brothers, and Nine Inch Nails.”

I don’t see how this could beneficial for up and coming composers…

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