Don Buchwald & Associates has restructured its young performers division with several key hirings and naming of leadership roles in both NY and LA. The expanded team will be led in NY by Leslie Zaslower, formerly Director of Casting at Nickelodeon. Pamela Roth Goldman has been tapped to head the youth commercials division working directly with agents in DBA’s on-camera and voice-over departments headed by Robyn Stecher. In Los Angeles, Tim Weissman, has moved to DBA from CESD as agent. The youth division works within the film, television and theatre departments of both coasts.
Veteran talent agent Michael Greenwald, who had been at Don Buchwald & Associates for 18 years, departed the agency at the beginning of this week. “After many years as an agent at DBA, Michael Greenwald has now become a manager,” West Coast president Julia Buchwald said. “We wish him nothing but the best.” Greenwald, who served as VP Talent at DBA since joining in 1996, is said to be in discussions with management companies about joining. Based in DBA’s Los Angeles office, he is credited with helping develop the careers of Hilary Duff, Zach Quinto, Josh Duhamel, Rainn Wilson, Seth Green and Jim Caviezel. In one of his last bookings for the agency, Greenwald got Elvis Nolasco cast in ABC drama pilot American Crime. Greenwald, a 24-year industry veteran, started in Hollywood at Susan Smith & Associates and worked at Paradigm before moving to DBA. He began his career in New York working for Saturday Night Live and MTV.
EXCLUSIVE: Exactly two years after Don Buchwald & Assoc. partnered with Michael McConnell and Ben Press’ Fortitude, the two talent agencies are going their separate ways. “Our ability to move forward together was hampered by a difference in business cultures,” Don Buchwald wrote in a memo to the agency’s clients sent out this morning. “We blame no one.” According to the 2011 arrangement between DB&A and Fortitude, Fortitude founders/partners Ben Press and Michael McConnell and DB&A EVP Julia Buchwald served as co-heads of Don Buchwald & Associates/Fortitude’s West Coast operations. Julia Buchwald and her team will continue to oversee DB&A’s Los Angeles-based clients after the split. “We thought this new direction would be helpful for our company,” Don Buchwald told Deadline. “Certainly wish everyone well and good fortune.” He wouldn’t elaborate on the reasons for the breakup though there had been rumors that the relationship between the two outfits wasn’t harmonious. I’ll update with reaction from McConnell and Press when I hear back. According to sources, the two were blindsided by the move, which appears to be unilateral, instigated by DB&A. DB&A, whose New York office is run by Don Buchwald, has a client list that includes top radio and TV personality Howard Stern. Fortitude’s clients include Elle Macpherson.
And round and round they go. Just days after Paradigm poached the key members of Abrams Artists’ Youth Department, Abrams has hired the agents of the Youth Department at Buchwald/Fortitude. We hear the entire department — head Pamela Fisher, senior agent Chrissy Eaden and junior agent Famata Kamara — left Buchwald/Fortitude yesterday and will start at Abrams on Monday, bringing their clients with them. They’ll join Domina Holbeck and Jeremy Apody already in Los Angeles and Ellen Gilbert, Bonnie Shumofsky, and Rachel Altman already in NYC. The move comes three months after Don Buchwald & Associates, where the three agents had been based, teamed with Fortitude. Meanwhile, CEO Harry Abrams got on the phone with Deadline today and denied that having primary agents Wendi Green and Jen Millar with good clients from his youth department leaving to join Paradigm is “disastrous”. (Their clients include Angus Jones, the highest-paid “child” actor from Two And A Half Men, Vanessa Marano, and Madeline Carroll.) But Abrams did confirm that what we’d heard; that Marna Palmer, a prominent commercial agent, and Brandon Martinez, the sole agent in the company’s New Media division, decided to depart as well. The CEO told Deadline that Palmer is relocating while Martinez is getting into the music biz.
Tim Angle, the former president of Don Buchwald & Associates who exited the talent agency in the fallout of the merger with Fortitude in early May, is switching to management. Angle, who spent 19 years at Buchwald, has joined Shelter Entertainment Group. “I am pleased to be able to begin my career as a manager with such a well-established and stable company and to be able to work with such smart, experienced and well-respected colleagues,” Angle said. At Shelter, Angle will work alongside president Alan Iezman and the company’s other managers, including Ray McKigney, Andy Howard and Debbie Miller.
UPDATE: Tim Angle had been kept in the dark on the pending deal and was first told about it last night, a couple of hours before the announcement, when he was also informed that he will no longer be part of the company. Angle is now in the process of finding a new job. “I’ve worked at Don Buchwald for almost 19 years,” Angle said. “I’m sorry that Don is going in a different direction, but I have great affection for all my colleagues and wish them the best.”
PREVIOUS: Last night, my colleague Mike Fleming scooped the news of the merger of talent agencies Don Buchwald & Associates and Fortitude. Lost in the shuffle of the announcement was the fact that, in the fallout of the merger, Don Buchwald president Tim Angle, an 18-year veteran of the agency, is out. He had been running the West Coast office with Julia Buchwald as EVP under him. Buchwald will now co-head the office with Fortitude principals Ben Press and Michael McConnell. When I tried to reach Angle at his extension today, it had already been re-assigned to McConnell. “I have a lot of respect for Tim as I worked closely with him for a lot of years,” Buchwald said. “It was a mutual parting of the ways, and we wish him nothing but the best.”
EXCLUSIVE: Don Buchwald & Associates, the agency best known for repping Sirius XM Radio’s signature star Howard Stern, is joining forces with West Coast based talent agency Fortitude. Fortitude founders/partners Ben Press and Michael McConnell and DB&A executive vice president Julia Buchwald will serves as co-heads of Don Buchwald & Associates/Fortitude. The consolidated companies will operate out of DB&A’s existing space at 6500 Wilshire Blvd.
DB&A will remain in its Gotham offices, where it has its broadcast, commercial, voiceover, theater, legal and business affairs departments and talent and lit departments. Formed four years ago, Fortitude has lit and talent clients that include Joss Stone, Angela Lansbury, Peter Iliff, Julia Jones, Crispin Glover, Daisy Lowe, Mario Van Peebles, Elle Macpherson, Cymphonique Miller, Cybill Shepherd, Jordan Bridges, Sean Patrick Flanery, Loren Dean, Lolita Davidovich, Romeo Miller and Kathleen Quinlan.
DB&A, which is 35 years old, has a talent list that includes Ethan Suplee, Ralph Macchio, Paz de la Huerta, Norman Reedus, Fairuza Balk, Kathleen Turner and Shannen Doherty. Don Buchwald remains CEO/President, and continues to be the exclusive agent for Stern, who just re-upped at Sirius XM.