If CAA agents this week are looking inconsolable, it’s because they now have to give up flying first class. (Those conversations you’re trying to overhear at lunch in Century City are the CAA tenpercenters kvetching about it.) So what happened? My sources tell me that CAA called a big all-agents meeting and read the riot act to its spendthrift tenpercenters. To cut expenses by a whopping 20%. To start flying just business class instead of first class. And to take to heart this warning: If you want to get paid, then get your clients jobs. I hear the motion picture agents are the most upset about the new edicts because they live the high life more and so got hit harder. Look, I’ve been saying this for a while now: CAA can’t keep spending like drunken sailors without having cash flow issues: buying a bevy of agents from other shops and wooing clients by the hundreds, and moving into swank new headquarters while still paying rent back at the I.M. Pei building, and starting a money pit of a sports division where most of the endorsement deal money will be heading back to IMG for years, etc. Now CAA is having the same woes every other agency in town has been having: for instance, William Morris last year asked its departments to slash spending by 20%. What’s next? Richard Lovett on Avenue Of The Stars with a metal detector looking for loose change and lost jewelry?
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