Merger News: Two Long-Standing DC Talent Agencies Unite For A Stronger, More Viable Business Future

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THE Artist Agency and Central Casting USA unite to create one full-service talent booking agency.

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“Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, we may not have all the answers just yet, but we see the trends and can act with foresight, positioning ourselves together for a stronger, more resilient future for our business and for the talent we represent.” -Lynda Erkiletian

THE Artist Agency founded in 1985 to represent models and stylists, has joined forces with Central Casting USA founded in 1970 to represent actors and voice talent, have united to create one full-service talent booking agency. The union of the two long standing women-owned Washington, DC-based agency businesses reflects the trend of small business consolidation and the forecast of continued growth and opportunities for talent in global digital, multimedia platforms. Since the merger in January, THE Artist Agency now represents over four thousand professional talent for film, television, fashion runway, digital media, print ads, social media marketing, and other usages. To date, they have successfully cast extras and day players for two feature films, including Denzel Washington’s Journal for Jordan, a film currently in production for Paramount Pictures.

THE Artist Agency founder and president, Lynda Erkiletian, has witnessed the digital expansion and has a clear vision for the future by merging with and acquiring Central Casting USA to create one umbrella agency for talent representation. Ms. Erkiletian, a cast member on Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of DC where her modeling agency was often featured states, “Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, we may not have all the answers just yet, but we see the trends and can act with foresight, positioning ourselves together for a stronger, more resilient future for our business and for the talent we represent.”

Dagmar Wittmer, who with Carol Ness co-founded Central Casting USA to represent actors and voice talent a half-century ago says, “Over the years, we have collaborated with THE on many projects and we know their team’s strong work ethic, booking experience, and stellar client and model management reputation are aligned with our company values.”

According to a published analysis report entitled “COVID-19 Outlook on the US Media and Entertainment Industry” by Deloitte Financial’s US Technology, Media & Telecommunications division states, “media and entertainment companies have made significant job cuts and business changes to survive the initial disruption due to the COVID-19 crisis. But as they transition from response to recovery, they can develop strategies that can position them to be more successful after the pandemic subsides. With consumers re-evaluating and experimenting with how they live, work, and play because of the COVID-19 crisis, the imperative for robust digital platforms, mature direct-to-consumer connections, and innovative content has never been clearer.”

Elizabeth Centenari, THE Artist Agency vice president, explains, “As the digital market has grown, we have seen the blur between models and actors taking shape in booking talent. Clients are intentionally casting popular “influencers” with the most social media followers. She adds, “It's a challenging time for small businesses like ours, and this alliance with Central Casting will set us all up for a brighter future.”

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Michelle Delino
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