EXCLUSIVE: Eight years after Barry Katz sold his talent management company to New Wave Entertainment, the two are parting ways. Katz will leave New Wave at the end of the year when his contract is up after the company opted not to renew it. “It has been a great eight years having Barry on our team, as we have truly accomplished a lot together; however, the time is right for us both to move on,” New Wave CEO Paul Apel said. “We sincerely wish him continued success in his endeavors.”
Katz’s official title at New Wave was president of talent management, but he had mostly focused on his clients lately. Head of Production & SVP of Talent Management Brian Volk-Weiss, who has been leading New Wave’s Talent Management, Development and Production divisions, will continue to do so. Volk-Weiss was a longtime associate of Katz at Barry Katz Entertainment whom Katz brought in with him when New Wave acquired his 15-year-old company at the end of 2003.
During his tenure at New Wave, Katz produced several films — Employee Of The Month, Good Luck Chuck and My Best Friend’s Girl — all starring his former long-time client Dane Cook, who left New Wave in the spring. Katz’s top clients include Jay Mohr and Christopher Titus. In TV, Katz executive produces NBC’s freshman comedy Whitney. He previously executive produced ABC’s The Next Best Thing, NESN’S Comedy All-Stars, HBO’s Tourgasm, TBS’s Frank TV, and NBC’s Last Comic Standing. “I am very grateful and proud of what we accomplished together, and look forward to what the future will bring,” Katz said.
New Wave’s Talent Management, Development and Production divisions are in growing mode, doubling their staff during the past year. Recent client signs include actor/comedians Marlon Wayans, Orlando Jones and Jim Jefferies and TV writer-producers Rory Albanese, Joe Gayton, and Brian Rubinstein. New Wave, the biggest producer of stand-up comedy projects, also has beefed up its unscripted team with the recent hire of Ri-Karlo Handy as VP Unscripted Development. So far this year, the company has sold projects to ABC, NBC, VH1, MTV2, Sundance, WEtv, Discovery Investigation, Lifetime, CMT, Comedy Central, and Showtime. Its pop-culture weekly comedy show Stevie TV starring YouTube personality Stevie Ryan is slated to launch on VH1 next year.
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