It’s Official: WMA, Endeavor To Merge

William Morris Agency and Endeavor boards have agreed to merge under the new name of WME Entertainment, creating an agency powerhouse and putting an end to the 111-year William Morris Agency’s stand alone name.

The combined agency will have a long reach into every aspect of the entertainment industry, including music with tie-up of WMA’s blockbuster music department headed up by Peter Grosslight.

The merger is subject to government approvals, and creates a head-to-head competitor to Creative Artists Agency for full-service agency supremacy in Hollywood.

Current WMA chief exec Jim Wiatt will chair WME, while Endeavor top execs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, along with WMA President Dave Wirtschafter will head up executive operations positions for the new company, according to a joint statement from Endeavor and WMA.

The WME Entertainment board will consist of nine directors that includes five from WMA and four from Endeavor ranks. WMA directors will be Wiatt, Wirtschafter, Grosslight, publishing chief Jennifer Rudulph Walsh, and lit department head John Fogelman. Endeavor’s contribution is reported to be Emanuel, Whitesell, Rick Rosen and Adam Venit.

The announcement puts Emanuel, brother of President Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, in the position of sitting on two boards involved in major mergers under federal scrutiny. Ari Emanual is also on Live Nation’s board of directors.