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CAA Takes Over ICM:Merger of Two Biggest Talent Agencies

By Lori Perkins

With the 4th of July celebrations and massacres, following the bombshell Jan 6th televised hearing, a lot of people seem to be totally unaware that the entertainment industry – arguably America’s real global product – just completely re-aligned itself.

The $750 million acquisition/merger between the two largest talent agencies – CAA and ICM – was delayed 10 months, and was just completed in June. There are now just three large talent agencies (WME and UTA the other two) but the CAA/ICM agency will be the largest and most powerful by far.

After the deal was completed, more than 100 ICM staff members moved over to CAA, but no one really knows what this will mean for all the different industries in the creative multiverse.

Though an opinion piece in today’s Variety says this should be “good news” for smaller to mid-sized talent agencies, I can tell you that creators, writers, publishers, studios and consumers, really have no idea what this will mean. All I can tell you is that in my three decades in publishing, when the number of publishers went from 27 to five, bigger has meant less for most of us, and more for those already at the top. But this has also meant more creativity at the bottom, which has meant you work harder for less but the entry stakes are lower.

It’s going to be David versus Goliath out there for newbies and nontraditionalists, but that might just be what the world needs right now. Not sure how many more reboots, mash-ups and sequels/prequels I can take.


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