CAA cuts staff to prepare for financial 'challenges' of Covid-19
Creative Artists Agency, the leading sports and entertainment agency, has announced it will lay off 90 agents and executives and furlough a further 275 staff members to cope with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The cuts will be made across several departments but its sports division is expected to be particularly affected.
The layoffs will impact staff across CAA's departments and offices in Los Angeles, Nashville, New York and London.
The agency said the cuts were made in light of “greater visibility into the Covid-19 challenges of fiscal year 2021” and described the decision as “an unprecedented and painful moment.”
In April, CAA implemented company-wide pay cuts in an attempt to avoid furloughs, with top executives such as co-chairman Richard Lovett, Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane agreeing to forgo salaries for the rest of 2020.
In a statement, the agency said: “CAA began working remotely earlier this year due to the pandemic. Everyone at the company participated in reducing compensation with the hope that we could keep all employees financially whole through the end of our fiscal year, 30 September, 2020.
“We are honouring that commitment, including for those impacted by this announcement. But, with greater visibility into the Covid-19 challenges of fiscal year 2021, we have made the difficult decision to implement workforce reductions, in addition to our ongoing cost-saving measures.
“Effective this week, approximately 90 agents and executives from departments across the agency will be leaving. In addition, we are furloughing approximately 275 assistants and other staff. The company will continue to fully pay the health plan premiums for those being furloughed… This is a painful and unprecedented moment, and words are insufficient.”
As well as negotiating through the financial impact of the pandemic, CAA is also involved in a costly legal battle with the Writers Guild of America, the labour union which represents TV and film writers, over its effort to ban packaging fees and agencies from having investments in production entities.
Like other agencies, CAA lost hundreds of writer clients in April 2019 amid the standoff with the WGA over its plan to reform the rules governing talent agents who represent guild members.
CAA is not the only agency to have been hit hard by Covid-19, with Hollywood rival WME also cutting around 20 per cent of its workforce.