UPDATED, 12:06 PM: It’s a done deal. ICM Partners and the WGA just confirmed that the agency has signed a franchise agreement with the guild which will allow the agency to once again actively represent WGA members.
“We are looking forward to getting back to work for our writer clients,” ICM Partners Co-President Kevin Crotty said in a statement. “The pandemic has caused tremendous hardship and every facet of our industry is greatly challenged because of it. It was time to bridge this gap and get back to helping our clients tell stories that entertain, enlighten, connect and comfort audiences everywhere.”
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In an email the WGA Agency Negotiating Committee sent to members, the guild confirmed that “now that the WGA has agreements with both ICM and UTA, the packaging sunset period for all franchised agencies ends on June 30, 2022.”
The WGA also confirmed that “the terms of this agreement substantively match the deal signed with UTA in July.” That deal included up to 20% non-controlling ownership of a production company and requirement of client consent for contract information to be shared with the guild.
The two remaining Big 4 agencies, WME and CAA, have the most at stake on the affiliate production front with Endeavor Content and wiip, respectively.
PREVIOUSLY, 9:44 AM: ICM Partners is finalizing an agreement with the WGA, sources tell Deadline.
The pact, which would join a similar deal the guild reached with UTA last month, paves the way to eliminating the practice of packaging by June 30, 2022, which had been contingent on two of the so-called “Big 4” agencies, CAA, WME, UTA and ICM, reaching agreements with the WGA.
Nobody would comment but, according to sources, the terms in ICM’s deal are in the ballpark of the ones negotiated by UTA, which included up to 20% non-controlling ownership of a production company and requirement of client consent for contract information to be shared with the guild.
While rumors of talks between the WGA and WME continue, ICM Partners has been in a more advantageous position than its counterparts for a deal because it does not have an affiliated production company and also is not a party to the lawsuits against the guild launched by the other three major agencies late last spring.
The completion of a deal between the guild and ICM Partners assures that the anti-packaging provision in last month’s UTA agreement with the WGA will kick in after a two-year sunset clause – a move towards a new normal in the town.
“The more writers and agents can reunite, especially in these times, the better for our industry,” a senior source at UTA told Deadline today as the ICM pact with the WGA locked in. “The priority for all of us must be helping writers getting back to making great content.”
ICM was never a part of the federal lawsuit between the uber-agencies and the WGA, and UTA dropped out of the dispute last month as part of its agreement with the WGA. However, the legal battle with WME and CAA continues for the scribe union.
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