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Layoffs Sweep Through Live Entertainment Industry

Daniel Schultze/EyeEmEmpty Seats

Talent agencies and venues, among the first and hardest hit by work
stoppages because of the coronavirus outbreak, have begun scaling back both through
layoffs and by top-to-bottom salary reductions for those still with jobs.

Particularly for agencies, as a largely commission-dependent
industry, its stands to reason they would feel the pain simultaneously with concert
promoters who proactively cancelled shows and entire tours almost immediately
once it became clear the viral outbreak was exploding worldwide, particularly in
North America.

But that doesn’t make the pain less palpable.

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.

By the following Monday, that number was being reported as
closer to 250, though no one at Paradigm is confirming that information, nor
that of as much as 50% pay reductions for those remaining.

The company issued a statement the following week addressing
the layoffs.

“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,” the
statement reads. “Last week, we made the extraordinarily difficult decision to
temporarily lay off many colleagues and to enact

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