The Death of an Era: A3 Artists Ceases Operations

In the media and entertainment space, change is the only given. However, it’s hard not to feel a pang of nostalgia for a bygone era as we face the breaking news that A3 Artists Agency will be shutting down operations for good. The announcement, made late last week by A3 COO, Todd Quinn, came as a shock to the industry, especially as we only recently saw the group spin off several of its divisions in a restructuring move. Blake & Wang P.A. entertainment attorney, Brandon Blake, fills us in on this seismic shift.

Brandon Blake

Lack of Sustainable Operating Power

Just last month, we saw the curtains close on the sale of A3 Artist Agency’s alternative and digital divisions to Gersh. Quinn’s announcement was straight and to the point. The agency cannot continue to operate ‘in a sustainable manner.’ The company has already sold off most of its office space in both New York and West Hollywood. Reportedly, this was a unilateral decision made by Adam Bold, who took the Chair in 2018. This truly marks the end of an era in many ways, with A3’s history stretching back to 1977 when it opened as Abrams Artists Agency.


Of course, it isn’t as simple as shutting the doors and flipping the light switches. While A3 is now officially out of business as of this week, there will still be an administrative unwinding period ahead. Reportedly, there is also some hope that a new company will launch from A3’s ashes, presumably in the hopes of directly taking its agents and clients with it. We have no further information on that for now.

The Gersh Sale in a Different Light

We first heard of the spin-off of several of A3’s key divisions to the long-standing Gersh Agency in September last year, with the deal finalizing last month. This was Gersh’s first major acquisition since a 45% stake went to private equity firm Crestview Partners. With it went 25 A3 agents and around 45 other staff members, leaving A3 with staff numbers of a little over 100. Gersh will be operating its new digital assets as a stand-alone business, while the alternative division remains under its wider banner. 

Explosive Lawsuit

It’s hard not to speculate that this sudden withdrawal from the market has something to do with a lawsuit filed directly against A3 Chairman Adam Bold and Superbrands Capital by 2 A3 partners, Brian Cho and Robert Atterman. The accusation was that the ‘stripping of A3 for parts’ was designed only to create a cozy exit package for the individuals named, and not a real market need. Both restraining orders and injunctions were being sought.

Accusations went as far as to call it a ‘campaign of chaos’ deliberately orchestrated within the agency. It’s bitterly clear that there were deep-seated resentments at play in A3’s upper echelons. The company has been weathering something of an agent flight of late in light of this strained operating environment. Bold, however, had the power to nuke the agency’s remaining services unilaterally through the new operating agreement entered into last year- now claimed to be fraudulent under the terms of the suit.

It’s always sad to see the end of an era, especially going down in such acrimonious flames. Should we hear anything further about the proposed new agency, we will be the first to share the facts with you.


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