The William Morris Agency has
an agreement to acquire the New York-based Premier Talent Agency.
The agreement calls for Barbara Skydel to be named Senior Vice President within the
music division, and Frank Barsalona, the founder of Premier in 1964, will work as an
active consultant to WMA.
"Premier is one of the most respected talent agencies in the music industry
because of its approach to the business and the success it has achieved," Peter
Grosslight, senior vice president and worldwide head of WMA's music division, said. "We look forward to working closely with Barbara, Frank and
their distinguished clients."
"We're excited to bring our talented clients into the bigger
of William Morris," said Skydel, "which as the oldest and largest talent agency in the
has the reach and influence to continue the style and quality of
that we've provided for so many years at Premier."
Barsalona added: "I view this acquisition as one legend joining another, and
excited about the lasting legacy of Premier Talent as it becomes a
part of William Morris."
Skydel became executive vice president of Premier in 1977 and partner
Barsalona in 1985, becoming the first female principal of a major talent
During her 30-year career, Skydel has been named Performance Magazine's
the Year five times and Billboard's Agent of the Year twice. In 2000, she
saluted by "Women In Music" with the Touchstone Award, which recognizes
the industry who have made a difference.
Barsalona founded Premier Talent in 1964 after serving as the youngest agent
General Artists Corporation, where he booked the initial Beatles and Rolling
Stones appearances in the United States. As the first contemporary music
in the U.S., Barsalona intended for Premier to answer the growing need for
change in the market while addressing his unique philosophy as a performer.
Billboard published a special tribute to Premier in honor of the
20th anniversary, and Barsalona has received the Performance Touring Hall of
Award. He is also a founding member and serves on the board of the Rock and
Hall of Fame, and on March 11, he will be honored with the Silver Clef Award
from the Nordoff-Robbins Foundation.
Premier's clients include, among others, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers,
Waters, The Pretenders, Sinead O'Connor, The Who, Pete Townshend, Keith
Richards, Bob Geldof, Marianne Faithfull, Suzanne Vega, Sebastian Bach,
Big Audio Dynamite,
Art On Ice,
Havana Night and
James Last Orchestra.
Bruce Springsteen was no longer a client of Premier at the time of the WMA acquisition, which has been rumored for months. Springsteen's long-time agent Barry Bell left Premier last summer, as exclusively reported on Celebrity Access, and took the Boss with him. U2 has not been with Premier for a few tours now once Michael Cohl started booking the group internationally.
Inside sources say that Jane Geraghty, the only other agent that was left at Premier, is taking some much-needed time off and evaluating her options.