Cuts May Affect 30% of Endeavor Staff; UTA Begins ‘Temporary Furloughs’

– Endeavor
As many as one-third of the employees of Endeavor Group Holdings, which includes WME, are to be “affected” by furloughs. Additionally, job and salary cuts that began in late March are expected to continue through May. 
Meanwhile, United Talent Agency has reportedly furloughed employees temporarily, with health benefits intact. The agency had so far avoided the salary cuts and job losses of some of the other majors. Most of those affected by today’s furloughs are assistants Pollstar has confirmed.

The cutbacks at Endeavor follows those affecting 250 in March , with the layoffs of restaurant workers and groundskeepers and salary reductions across the board. At the time, Endeavor was believed to employ around 7,500. After those cuts, the number affected by the second round could be about 2,400 employees.

This time, job cuts are being made across Endeavor’s business units but, for at least the moment, WME agents have been spared – but that could change, a person with knowledge of the situation told Pollstar, while denying reports of a shuffling in the executive ranks as “completely untrue.”

“Like other companies, we are taking a variety of actions to mitigate the impact of this pandemic,” the spokesman told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the layoffs, adding that the cuts will be implemented by the end of May. Endeavor’s many business units include sports, beauty pageants and modeling, and brands.

In March, it was learned that Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and Executive Chairman Patrick Whitesell would forego their salaries for the remainder of the year.

“As we all focus inward to protect our personal health and safeguard our families, every company around the world is simultaneously faced with safeguarding the health and future of its business. We are no different,” Emanuel wrote in his note to his staff at the time. All parts of our company are feeling the effects.”

But acquisitions created debt, and when Endeavor filed for an IPO in May it revealed it had $4.64 billion in long-term debt. The IPO was pulled in September when it became clear it wouldn’t raise the funds that had been hoped.

Paradigm Talent Agency was among the first to institute layoffs, with word leaking beyond the company’s walls that chairman and CEO Sam Gores had conducted a videoconference March 20 to inform all staff that temporary pink slips were imminent. By the end of the day, it was reported that more than 100 of a staff of more than 700 had lost their jobs.

Since then, Paradigm has secured funding to restore many of the salary reductions though it’s not known if employees laid off the time have been returned to their jobs.

Creative Artists Agency and APA have reportedly undergone staff pay cuts and other cost-cutting measures as well.  ICM Partners, with a smaller music department and less debt, has not experienced layoffs as of yet, according to person with knowledge of the agency’s position.