ICM Acquires Boutique TV Rival



LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — International Creative Management has purchased a boutique agency known for putting together such hit television shows as ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” NBC’s “My Name is Earl,” and the CBS comedy “Two and a Half Men.”

The company bought Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann for a rumored $70 million, with ICM paying cash for the agency’s assets. ICM Chairman Jeffrey Berg described the deal as hefty to the Los Angeles Times: “It’s among the most significant deals ever made in the business…I think it’s a page turner for the agency business.”

Under the deal with the 27-agent BWCS, managing partner Chris Silbermann was named as co-president alongside veteran ICM agency Ed Limato. The deal also saw the departure of veteran agent Nancy Josephson, who served as ICM co-president and is one of Hollywood’s top-ranking female agents. She reportedly chose to leave as part of the reorganization.

The acquisition of BWCS is ICM’s first major move since it’s $100 million recapitalization last November. At that time, Berg had made it clear that he planned to use a portion of the money to acquire another talent agency to strengthen ICM’s position among its competitors.

The move reflects a trend in the entertainment industry, as the number of buyers of films and television shows has shrunk significantly in recent years. Talent agents have been predicting an industry consolidation, with top players ICM, Creative Artists Agency, William Morris Agency, Endeavor and United Talent Agency all “seeking dance partners,” according to the Times.

“In order to compete, we need to have size and global reach,” Robert Broder, one of the BWCS’s founders told the paper. “As we move into this new era of the digital age, our clients deserve the best representation they can have. It was a moment in time that we couldn’t pass up.”

The move had its downsides, however, with nine ICM agents receiving pink slips, including Babette Perry, Nancy Etz, Scott Arnovitz, Jill Gillett, Tanya Lopez, Steve Simons, Patty Detroit, Stacy Lubliner and Dan Norton.

ICM Spokesman David Shane emphasized that all of the moves were for the company’s growth.

“We stated that there would be some internal changes, and this is an unfortunately side effect of any merger,” he told Variety. “We are excited about integrating BWCS into the agency.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers