Paradigm Faces Severe ‘Temporary’ Layoffs As Coronavirus Fears Take Hold

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Paradigm Talent Agency Chairman and CEO Sam Gores informed agency employees today via companywide videoconference to expect “temporary” layoffs as the industry begins to feel the pain of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Calls were in the process of being made by Paradigm HR to inform staff, of which about 100 of some 700 employees are expected to be let go, though reports indicate the number may be higher. It’s not yet known who will be leaving, or what becomes of the artists any of them represent. The company has reportedly pledged to assist those laid off with packages including health care and other assistance.

A report from described the conference as “emotional” and a  person with knowledge of the call confirmed to Pollstar that Gores was “broken up” but that staff appreciated that he chose to face them via video.

It’s hoped that those laid off will be returned to their desks as the coronavirus outbreak passes or is otherwise brought under control. Layoffs are expected to span all departments.

In the last two years, Paradigm has been the subject of buyout rumors and both times Gores has quashed those. It’s been approached by United Talent Agency as well Creative Artists Agency, both full-service houses that could absorb all operations.

On the music side, Paradigm is known for its quality roster of artists across genres including Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish, Kenny Chesney, Kacey Musgraves, Big Gigantic, Imagine Dragons, Phish, Bob Weir and many more in offices located in Beverly Hills, New York City, Chicago, Nashville, Toronto, London, Austin and Monterey, Calif., among others.

The company, which originally represented film and television interests, bootstrapped a music division in 2004 with the acquisition of boutique agency Monterey Peninsula Artists, followed by Little Big Man led by now-head of Worldwide Music Marty Diamond.

In following years, it also brought in The Windish Agency, along with its owner, Tom Windish, and electronic music mainstays AM Only and the European agency CODA.