June 17, 2009 | 3:44 pm
Posted by Danielle Berrin
The new William Morris Endeavor is being run by one of Hollywood’s most powerful Jews—Ari Emanuel. But amid the shake-ups that have accompanied the merger he orchestrated, some of the former William Morris Agency’s top Jewish talent are being let go.
Back in April, there was news that David Lonner, the WMA agent that repped J.J. Abrams and Jon Turteltaub among others,would not be joining the new agency. The disappointment of Lonner’s ouster was informed by a back story: Lonner had worked at Endeavor before moving to WMA, and left over what can only be assumed a harsher version of creative differences. So when Endeavor’s leadership took over the new merged company, Lonner was back working for the people he ran away from. At WMA, Lonner used his position and his hot client list to organize A-list trips to Israel.
The latest rumor has it that Irv Weintraub, WMA’s COO, may also be getting the ax. This one is surprising, because early news about the merger indicated that Weintraub might nab a spot on WME’s board of directors. But as Nikki Finke reported yesterday, Weintraub has been mysteriously absent from his office. The Wexner Heritage Foundation graduate and AIPAC supporter, is reportedly refusing to acquiesce to the dismissal. He isn’t interested in a please-go-quietly-payday and plans to challenge the new company with a lawsuit.
In any event, two of Hollywood’s biggest Israel supporters are now out of a job.
From Deadline Hollywood Daily:
... it’s been nearly a month since the controversial ex-William Morris Agency COO has been seen inside the old WMA. Nor has there been any official announcement about his not-joining-the-merger status. The reason everyone at WME Entertainment has been so close-mouthed is because he’s refusing to go away quietly in exchange for money like CEO Jim Wiatt. Instead, Weintraub is telling his former WMA pals that he has hired lawyers…Preparing for a legal battle, WME will take a hardline regarding Weintraub’s old WMA employment. I’m told everything Irv did at Morris can now be put under a microscope.
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