Warnock’s New Agency Role

The announcement that Agency Group founder Neil Warnock has appointed a new CEO and changed his own title to worldwide president may indicate that further expansion is on the cards for the UK-based firm.

He’s handed over the running of the business to Gavin O’Reilly, who has 20 years of corporate and media experience.

Warnock says the enormous development of The Agency Group over the last few years means it was vital to find somebody of O’Reilly’s caliber.

He also said it was essential to get someone with a vision solidly focused on the additional development of TAG, which may be why Warnock sees O’Reilly as a good sidekick.

The former chief exec of Independent News and Media PLC, a multimedia company with operations across Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa, is also a former president of Paris-based World Association of News Publishers.

Appointing a former media exec to handle day-to-day operations at the company may well mean that Warnock – apparently an avid reader with a detailed knowledge of publishing – will be freed up to develop his company’s non-musical businesses on a broader basis.

A the end of February he told The Independent he was planning to buy a comedy agency in addition to growing his company’s literary agency on both sides of the Atlantic.

Although his change of role isn’t likely to mean he’ll spend less time serving his music clients, or cease to be the person you have to face when messing with a Deep Purple show in Kathmandu, it may be he’ll be spending more time developing other business areas.

He’s currently in Morocco with Deep Purple, having spent most of the last few days at London O2 with Rush, with Muse at the city’s Emirates Stadium, and with Meat Loaf in Dublin and Lisa Stansfield in Berlin.

Warnock recently secured the structure of the London-based live music booking department by promoting Paul Ryan, Natasha Bent and Heulwen Keyte to vice presidents of the UK division.

The Agency Group has operated a New York-based literary agency for several years, but to accommodate expansion has now taken another floor of the City Road building that houses its London HQ.

Warnock has also brought in Jonathan Conway and Juliet Mushens to spearhead the London publishing operation.

Conway, who co-founded the literary agency Mulcahy Conway Associates, has had seven of his writers make the Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller Lists.

Mushens began her career in fiction marketing at HarperCollins in 2008, after graduating from Cambridge with a degree in History.

Last year The Agency Group reportedly had revenues of $32 million. The company employs 170 people in London, New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Toronto and Malmo, Sweden.