Two coordinators – inbetween assistants and agents — were let go. No one else.
Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.
This article was printed from http://www.deadline.com/2009/03/rumor-about-icm-agent-layoffs-untrue/
Do we know who they are?
Sucks. They have a nice group over there. (Yes, an agency with nice people. And it’s still successful. Crazy but true.)
Hey “Curious” — why do you care who they are? Let them be without all you people in Nikki-land discussing their ins and outs, pros and cons. Let it go dude (or dudette). Let it goooooooo.
Robyn Holt and Michael Pio. Both were blindsided. Never saw it coming.
Two very hard working and smart up-and-comers. ICM promoted a pair to MP Talent and MP Lit and then cut one from each.
Surprising to see Michael Pio go since he has been tightly aligned with Doug MacLaren, having been his assitant for several years. Goes to show what happened to Doug. Seems like he has very little clout since he lost most of his valuable clients. Ed Limato’s exit to WMA hurt Doug’s business and the bloodletting never stopped.
Robyn was in tight with Carol Bodie, who had been running the MP Talent department until she screamed at Chris Silbermann and Jeff Berg one day for not firing an assitant who had been insubordinated. It felt like just a few hours after the tirade when Toni Howard was promoted in Carol’s place. With Carol out of town tghis week and not around to fight for Robyn, the powers-that-be could cut Robyn loose without the worry of a Bodie hissy fit.
Not a good time to be out of a job but Holt and Pio should land on their feet. They’re too smart not to get snatched up by another agency.
They let them all put in the time to become coordinators and the fire them. Sounds like bad business.
Let’s see what happens at ICM in the next two weeks.
Yikes! that sucks – coordinator is like last stop before agent. also – it can be hard to find a commensurate job elsewhere b/c most other agencies want trainees to start with them or to come on after they have experience being an agent.
It always sucks when generally blameless junior employees get beat upon because management doesn’t like someone senior.
I feel badly for both of them. In particular, Michael Pio, who has been a coordinator there for at least 4 years and had to watch far less experienced people be hired straight on as agents. Of course, some of these less experienced people didn’t even make it a year there…
do agents become screamers or do screamer become agents? I
Both Robyn Holt and Michael Pio are unbelievable talents and ICM is making a big mistake by letting them go. Both will prove tremendous assets wherever they end up…
Reiterating what the first Anonymous poster included, both were largely the victim of getting stuck with the wrong pony…
Not mentioned was Robyn Holt’s two year stint on Jim Osborne’s desk prior to Carol Bodie – doing the lord’s work keeping that office together. Broadly stated, its a testament to her tenacity, intelligence, and skill that she made it to coordinator as she had three Scarlet Letters against her:
1) Past association with Osborne (normally your hope is that your first desk agent is at least an asset to your ascension, in her case, it was worse, it was a liability)
2) Her main proponent in MP Talent was Carol Bodie (who by the way, is a great agent for her clients, but clearly is not benefiting from ICMs politics)
3) Possibly being a woman – It seems ICM appears sexist in their promotion practices – particularly post Broder merger.
yeah! fuck them! their JUST coordinators – they probably have the same sensory perception level of a poor man’s android
i hope those coordinators stick with it and spend another three years making icm regret their dumb shitness – or just enough time to watch them devour each other
you can believe that
And some of us are surprised that ICM perpetuates its completely scumbag behavior yet again? C’mon…seriously? They’ve been at it for YEARS as they race to the bottom of the list of viable (or not laughable) talent agencies. Jeez, they used to be one of the top 3….they’re lucky if there now in the top 8.
And to anonymous2′s comment about thinking ICM is making a mistake…ya think? They’ve basically wrritten the book on making mistakes, in the last 5 years in particular…as they’ve watched all their great agents & talent jump from the burning building.
As for the possibility of ICM’s practices of sexism…well, you wouldn’t be the only person to have said that.
Let’s wait for all the ICM cheerleaders to post now…I’m sure they’ve received their briefings by now and have been instructed to come on here to post their comedy, as usual.
“Rah, rah….ICM is STILL viable….we swear….”
Man that really sucks. Holt’s been at ICM for at least 5 years and she’s gotta be pushing 30 by now. To not only be out of a job, but to be at an age where you’re way overqualified to just start out somewhere else, and then to not have the “agent” title to carry with you essentially cuts her legs out from under her in regards to the other big agencies.
She’s intelligent and innately crafty enough that things will work out in the end for her, but I think ICM just ruined any possibility of her being ever being an agent.
And Pio was the epitome of the loyal soldier for the past four years. Never questioned the authority figures, didn’t make waves and just did as he was told. It’s tragic that a company would treat people this way. Just promote them on a 6 month probationary period so they have the title and then cut them. It’s not like it would cost the company anything, the salary increase would only be like $5,000/year.
As for the sexism comments, not to get into politics, but can we just stop with that already please?! Women have achieved equality. Just go to any university’s website and look at their admissions and enrollment statistics: it’s always at least 50% female. Look around the various industries – like entertainment – and you’ll see women in positions of powers. Look in politics: the Speaker of the House is a woman, the secretary of state is a woman, the previous secretary of state was a woman. The person who writes and owns this website is a woman…just give it a rest already.
I have worked with both for several years and having been in the trenches as an assistant, I can honestly say that Robyn and Michael have integrity, drive, and taste. They deserve better. ICM doesn’t take care of their talent. They don’t groom jr. agents (They let Eva Lontscharitsh and Brian Levy go without blinking an eye). Let Rick Levy spin his way out of this one…it’s a sinking ship, it’s been a sinking ship for a long time. This is just one more example of poor management. How do you expect aspiring coordinators/agents to become loyal to a team that never gave a damn about its players…
Brian Levy being one of the said agents who just walked right in the door, having no agency experience. And was gone 2 years before Pio.
This decision gives cause for concern about ICM as a company for two reasons:
First: a lack of loyalty. You don’t fire someone who has worked so hard and for so long without a good reason. Karma exists.
Second: A lack of business acumen. Even assuming the company has no loyalty; one would hope that at least it would make decisions based on sounds economics. Sadly, this is not the case here either: Michael and Robyn were employees who were making ICM more money than ICM paid them. It doesn’t take Warren Buffet to understand that if an employee is bringing in more money that he/she is taking out, they are an asset; and the company needs more employees like that, not less.
There are employees at ICM who are costing the company money. The fact that ICM allowed politics to cause them to fire two profitable employees instead of cutting a non-profitable employee in a time of an economic retraction casts great doubt on the wisdom of the management of the company.
Luckily for them not all agencies are run by people who have such poor skills in basic arithmetic. One of the other agencies will pick them up quickly.
Anonymous3 , you are an unbelievable ignoramus across the board. Grossly uninformed about sexism. Go spread your worthless ignorance elsewhere.
Anonymous3… “Woman have achieve equality” — Shame on you! This wasn’t political and as laughable as your point is – the practices of agencies in Hollywood have nothing to do with Nancy Pelosi being speaker of the House or Hillary being Secretary of State.
Its horrendously naive to think that Hollywood is devoid of sexism, racism, ageism, etc. There have been plenty of lawsuits, many settled quietly, confirming these fact – I’ll just refer to the ageism lawsuit that was publicly settled rather than delving deeper in closed door allegations.
But specifically, my reason for saying ICM “appears” sexist in their promotion practices is based on many anecdotes related by women at the company and on ICM’s track record – not on any PC agenda.
Let me make crystal clear – I said ICM APPEARS sexist in their promotion practices – not necessarily hiring practices – as ICM has hired many woman from other agencies recently – in MP Talent Andrea Nelson-Meigs, Lorrie Bartlett, and Hidly Gottlieb. Plus, I don’t discount that both Toni Howard and Carol Bodie, both past MP Talent Department heads, were women.
But the cynic in me partly contends that their sniping of woman from other agencies for certain departments was partly to mask a deplorable track record of promoting females from within – or at least to bring more woman to the department in order to facilitate signings of clients with preferences toward female agents.
Prior to these hirings, it was to the point that TV Lit and MP Talent were overwhelmingly male – with Broder being far and away a predominantly male agency. As a result of the Broder merger, there was much grumbling about the ax coming down disproportionately against women – and particularly about the treatment of the companies top female executive – Nancy Josephson. (and by disproportionately, I do not calculate as a proportion of firings, I count in proportion of the percent of women versus men who were retained)
At one point MP Talent had only 3 female agents and TV Lit had but 1. Furthermore, I could be wrong, but post merger, Broder-Webb-Chervin-Silbermann brought over a solitary female agent?? Sophy Holodnik? (hardly glowing track records of employment equality – though I guess you can make the case that if you flip a penny 10-15 times, there is a good chance of getting heads 14 times out of 15!)
Factually, for ICM the Ed Limato years clearly appeared as a period of agency condoned sexism in promotion practices, as Ed never hired female assistance and the vast majority of promotions came through Ed’s office. It was a Catch-22 – to get promoted, you pretty much needed to be on Ed’s desk, to get on Ed’s desk, you HAD to be male.
I could be mistaken, but I believe the last woman to be promoted to agent in ICM’s MP Talent Department was Daisy Wu? (That can’t possibly be right? Is it? I can’t recollect another) Nevertheless, there have been AT LEAST 8 males promoted in MP Talent to agent to 0 women – hence the deplorable track record. (by my count at least)
Other departments also disproportionately promoted male assistants to coordinator as well – MP Lit for one.
As for personal stories, I’ve heard very qualified women assistants leave the agency saying they felt they perceived less opportunity of being promoted because they were women – though I will point out, this was in the MP Department.
Plus, it should hardly shock anyone that many male agents have said they will not hire a woman on their desk for one reason or another – one of many reason I’ve heard is because they don’t want a female assistant to hear details of their womanizing on the phone.
I do hope that this trend changes at the agency, but the firing of Robyn Holt really makes one question ICM’s commitment to promoting women from within – specifically the new Broder management who didn’t have the best track record with the old agency. This is also in light of being quick with the ax with other female coordinators and agents – Eva Lontscharitsch for one was mentioned, I can think of others.
I will point out, however, not all ICM departments seems as skewed, as TV Talent appears to have a better records for promoting women – possibly in no small part due to the influence of Leigh Brillstein and Iris Grossman on the department.
But then again, everything I’ve said could just be coincidence and I make no claim saying ICM is in fact sexist, as its entirely plausible everything I’ve pointed out is entirely coincidental and as you can see, nothing I’ve said can definitively speak as to motives – it could have all been entirely the unlucky result of balance sheets.
Plus, none of the evidence I have offered up should be construed as beyond what it is, anecdotal stories and best of my recollection recitation of facts. Take it for what you will.
On a last note, I disagree that ICM is necessarily going down the tubes. I actually think they can be one of the major beneficiaries of a WMA – Endeavor merger and have made some strong signings.
Still, turning their backs on these two great young talents was a travesty.
I can’t believe we’re glorifying the careers of assistants here. People get fired all the time, they’ll be fine.
Anybody that can work for that maniac Jim Osborne for 2 years deserves to be glorified. That man is insane beyond belief!!! Go Robyn! You truely are a champ! The should let her run the MP Talent department just for sheer perseverance.
Anonymous3 — just go to the Calendar section and see how many movies are written by women, yup, equality rocks! And btw, we’re NOT minorities!
Dear Chuck: I really have no response for you because, National Merit Scholar that you clearly are, you never actually offered a rebuttal to any of my points.
Anonymous2: Thank you for your articulate, well-reasoned response. Although I seem to recall that Lindsay Russell was also promoted to agent in the Lit Department, your points are taken and in regards to this particular company, let me say that I stand corrected. The circumstantial evidence certainly seems to support your hypothesis.
Didn’t realize two coordinators would generate so many comments. What the F?
“Didn’t realize two coordinators would generate so many comments. What the F? Comment by Slim To None — March 30, 2009 @ 2:46 pm”
Trust me, neither did ICM Corporate…They would have love to sweep this one under the rug on a Friday evening and have it disappear without a trace. Whoops. This is what happens when you fire people that the industry respects.
Lindsay, Kim, Jessica, Eva come to mind as women promoted post Daisy Wu.
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