October 3, 2000 |
World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. sued the William Morris Agency, saying it should not pay commissions on the company's new contract with Viacom Inc., its fledgling XFL football league, and its highly rated "SmackDown" wrestling show. The suit says William Morris in 1997 "exploited its unequal bargaining power" to force the WWFE to sign an agency contract that was "grossly" unfair to the Stamford, Conn.-based entertainment company. A William Morris official declined comment.
September 7, 2000 |
Longtime New York literary agent Robert Gottlieb, who in recent weeks lost his biggest client--author Tom Clancy--after 18 years, is leaving William Morris Agency. Gottlieb, a Morris board member and head of the agency's New York literary department, plans to start his own agency.
October 10, 1999 |
"In 25 years, I've never not had to be someplace," says Arnold Rifkin, a true Hollywood player for that quarter-century. "I'm going to start a new chapter." His industry colleaguesknow well what the new chapter is for Bruce Willis' longtime agent--life after William Morris, the legendary agency Rifkin headed until August. A New York native, the 52-year-old Rifkin learned the ropes of marketing in the garment industry--selling shoes, then furs--before he "somehow floated" into show business.
September 30, 1999 |
William Morris Agency laid off 10 agents on Wednesday as part of an ongoing effort to shake up its lagging motion picture division. The moves are the most sweeping actions yet taken by new company chief Jim Wiatt, the former co-chairman of rival International Creative Management. Wiatt was brought in by Morris in August with a clear mandate to improve the agency's film business.
August 10, 1999 |
William Morris Agency on Monday hired Jim Wiatt, the just-departed co-chief of International Creative Management, as president and co-chief executive, a move that is expected to set off a war among Hollywood's major talent agencies. Wiatt replaces former president and movie chief Arnold Rifkin, whose failure throughout the years to sign top stars and directors kept the agency a distant third to its more aggressive rivals ICM and Creative Artists Agency.
April 12, 1998 |
Who's to blame for the cancellation of Lollapalooza '98? Ted Gardner, one of the tour's founding partners, has commented that plans fell apart in February with word that fellow partner Perry Farrell's re-formed Jane's Addiction, expected to headline this year as it had the original Lollapalooza in 1991, would not be available.
November 11, 1997 |
Designer Tommy Hilfiger has grown his business into a $600- million fashion and fragrance empire. Now he wants to be in show business. To that end, Hilfiger said Monday that he was signing with the William Morris Agency. WMA will represent Tommy Hilfiger USA Inc. for multimedia projects encompassing music, film, television, publishing and interactive.
April 15, 1997 |
The William Morris Agency on Monday named Arnold Rifkin, one of Hollywood's most aggressive and colorful movie agents, as president of the venerable agency. The ascent of Rifkin to the most visible post at the 98-year-old agency is testimony not only to Rifkin's success at revitalizing Morris' once-moribund film division, but also to the importance agencies place in having a movie agent as the most recognized face in their company.