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Paradigm Layoffs Hit Senior Agents in Music, Movie and TV Literature

Layoffs at talent agency Paradigm have hit employees of every rank, multiple sources told Variety — including top agents in music and motion picture and TV literature — as fallout from coronavirus continues to mount.

More than 100 agency staffers were pink-slipped last Friday, individuals familiar with the company said, among them New York-based music reps Dave Kaplan and Mike Mori. Kaplan works with acts like the Black Keys and Father John Misty, and Mori handles bands including The 1975.

In the TV lit department, longtime dealmaker Debbee Klein has been laid off, as has motion picture lit’s Adam Kanter, book agent Sally Wilcox, and five junior agents in lit and content, a division that services indie films and digital creators.

“The COVID-19 crisis has brought much of the entertainment industry to a virtual standstill, and Paradigm, like many companies, has had to take immediate steps to ensure continuity of our operations. Last week, we made the extraordinarily difficult decision to temporarily lay off many colleagues and to enact salary cuts across the company,” a spokesperson for Paradigm said.

“It is our hope and plan to bring these colleagues back as quickly as possible, and today, we have already begun to do so. While it is impossible to know the depth and duration of this crisis, we remain proud of the determination and resilience of our Paradigm team to weather the storm and do our job representing artists,” the spokesperson concluded.

Returning employees who had been laid off were able to do so after Paradigm became the first of the major agencies to sign a new franchise agreement with the Writers Guild of America on Monday. This allows the company to resume representing its writer clients after months of gridlocked negotiations with the union. Only a handful of lit agents

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