LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The weekend saw a trio of major defections from UTA, as veteran agents Sharon Sheinwold, Lisa Hallerman and Nick Stevens left the firm to join with UTA's rival Endeavor. This move would seem particularly troubling for UTA as Nick Stevens was a co-owner of the firm and both Hallerman and Sheinwold were partners.
According to Variety, all three were considered to be integral to UTA's potent comedy roster, either serving as primary agents or working on teams that helped integrate rising talent with existing top-billed performers in movie packages.
Comedian Ben Stiller is departing with Stevens for Endeavor, and Sheinwold's client, Jack Black is also expected to leave, Variety reported. Additional talent that may be making the jump to Endeavor include Judd Apatow, Jason Bateman, Steve Coogan, Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen, Will Forte and Bill Hader among others.
How the trio will be integrated into Endeavor's growing staff, or how the defections will affect UTA is unclear at this point, but UTA chairman Jim Berkus was quick to put the kibosh on rumors that the departures may be a prelude to Paradigm buyout.
"We're not for sale, we're not merging or even talking to people," Berkus told Daily Variety. "We're building UTA, and we believe in it. We have a great company with great agents, and we'll continue on our path." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers