WMA lays off 120+

TV reporters tend to have conflicted relationships with agents. On one hand, they make unparalleled sources. On the other, they make way way way more money than any reporter does.

Still, I’m demonstrating what a big person I am and extending my sympathy to the 120 employees at William Morris that were laid off as the firm’s merger with Endeavor goes forward. This economy is leaving no one untouched.

According to the LA Times, those 120-plus people equal about 15% of its staff. Some 40 of those were agents while the rest were support staff, such as those invaluable administrative assistants that keep the wheels turning at any agency. (Just try to contact an agent and you’ll find at least two assistants get back to you. One to return your call, another to schedule your time with said agent. Sometimes even a third assistant gets involved. This is another reason why journalists suspect agents – they have way too much help.)

Aaron Kaplan, head of William Morris’ scripted TV division, will start his own company. WMA’s lit and music departments remain largely unaffected, while an upstart division meant to service video games disappears. For a list of everyone who lost their job, check in here with Nikki Finke.

Meanwhile, Endeavor laid off ten agents and their support staff in preparation for the new William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. Did William Morris agree to lay off ten times more people in return for having the first name on the marquee? I’m just asking.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997 - September 2002.