NASSIF GROWS DIVERSE AND MICKEY FREIBERG JOINS HIM
This SAG thing hasn’t been good for business. The Industry is already suffering from last year’s writer’s strike. The studios and television networks are fighting declining box office and an implosion of their traditional business models that are being replaced with emerging and unclear online business models. Add to that this summer’s financial meltdown and what do you have? This is a very treacherous landscape for business in general but an even more treacherous landscape for entertainment.
In the agency business the big agencies have the most to lose. They have the massive overheads, the reputation of driving up production budgets, and the lack of ability to change course in a rapidly changing market.
Size can be important. You want to be big enough to have recognition and small enough to adapt. That places Diverse Talent in exactly the right position for today’s market. Recently, Diverse was named in the top 10 agencies globally by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Their ranking was up from number 15 just a few years ago.
The foundation of this agency is Chris Nassif whose vision has put the Agency in a position that is attracting top talent. This top talent is bringing their revenue streams to Diverse. The revenue streams are important but when Diverse adds a strategic piece to the puzzle they bring on a stream that can produce exponentially.
One recent addition is Literary agent Mickey Freiberg who arrived at Diverse on December 1st. Mickey is returning to Century City where he spent 19 years at the Artists Agency as a partner. He has been an agent for over thirty years, was most recently the President of the Literary Division of Acme Talent and Literary. As head of the department, Freiberg’s main focus was placing manuscripts, screenplays, and life rights in the motion picture, television world, as well as coordinating projects with publishers in New York. Freiberg represents authors, producers, directors and screenwriters for feature films and television.
Freiberg’s list of accomplishments is staggering. Several major clients he has represented include Homer Hickam, author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller October Sky, Budd Schulberg, Academy Award winning screenwriter for his screenplay On the Waterfront (1954), Joe Pistone, Former FBI Special Agent, aka Donnie Brasco, and The Bonanno Family (the late Bill Bonanno, author of The Good Guys with Joe Pistone and author, David Fisher). Other clients include Daymon John, CEO of FUBU, Lute Olsen, Steve Parish (The Grateful Dead Road Manager, and author of Home Before Daylight), Bazzel Baz, creator of Association for Recovery of Children, Sir Edward A. Artis of Knightbridge International and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Freiberg recently sold the book, Running With The Devil, by Kevin Lucas Pappas with NY Times bestselling author, Stephan Talty. The story of Pappas’ former life of crime was acquired by Ballentine Books, a division of Random House Publishing and is scheduled to be in bookstores in 2009.
This is a tremendous fit as Diverse is already known for representing upper-level writers, directors, and producers. The addition of Mr. Freiberg will provide some very significant packaging opportunities.
Diverse Talent Group was established by Mr. Nassif following a series of acquisitions and roll-ups by his CNA & Associates, which he founded in 1981. A leading talent agency, it has represented all tiers of entertainment industry figures, including actors, writers, directors, producers and below-the-line-talent.
Currently, Diverse Talent represents talent on leading primetime TV shows including Lost, 24, House, Bones, Wildfire, Prison Break, Deadwood, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Seventh Heaven, Charmed, One Tree Hill, and Las Vegas . In addition, such leading daytime shows as The Young and the Restless, General Hospital and Days of Our Lives and such recent feature films; Dreamgirls, Welcome to America, The Flock and Transformers.
Diverse has grown to over 25 industry professionals as well as generating approximately $20 million gross revenues in 2005 for its clients with approximately $2,000,000 in commission income to the agency.
Diverse Talent has been consistently recognized as one of the best talent and literary agencies since its inception. When you walk into the Agency you see all kinds of awards and accolades that adorn the walls. You soon realize that you are not in some ordinary place. You realize that something very special is happening here.
Diverse Talent Group’s highly valued assets consist of a client base that range in scope from Academy-Award winners and top sitcom artists, to hour long drama directors, editors and producers. It is this extensive client base that has propelled Diverse Media Group’s rise to its current preeminent position in Hollywood. This client roster provides the Agency with recurring and ongoing revenues as the Agency receives percentages of all proceeds generated from its celebrity clients. Additionally, Diverse engages in high-margin development projects for television and film. The Agency’s strong creative team has developed a specialty in producing packages for film and television that provide additional revenue streams as part of a diverse strategic growth plan.
Chris Nassif, president and founder of Diverse Talent Group, says: “We have been consistently moving up the ranks and have demonstrated our ability to thrive in a competitive environment. Having accomplished a solid foothold as one of the industry’s top 10 agencies, our next target is focused on the top five and we are pulling the trigger.”
Diverse Media Group recently signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% stake in Celebrities In Action, Inc. in a joint venture to create new superhero character franchises based on real-life Hollywood celebrities. The new characters will be developed in cooperation with actual film, music and television and sports stars and original storylines will span multimedia, multiplatform projects. Plans include television, film, home entertainment, videogames, publishing, consumer products and merchandising.
Celebrities In Action, Inc. (CIA) is a vertically integrated entertainment company that develops, produces and distributes proprietary and licensed entertainment content, with a particular focus on animated celebrities.
CIA has an existing joint venture with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment banner to develop, produce and distribute animated programming, content and merchandise based on the premise of real-life celebrities in competition against characters from other worlds. Diverse Media Group will identify and secure the celebrity participation and Stan Lee will provide the creative vision to shape these novel superhero personas.
Praised as “a legend” worldwide and honored with his own Hasbro “Marvel Legends” action figure, Stan Lee is associated with such breakthrough superhero characters as Spider-Man®, The Incredible Hulk®, The Fantastic Four®, X-Men®, Iron Man® and Daredevil®. He is also recognized as an innovator in creating new media opportunities and revenue streams for the superhero genre. Among his accomplishments, Stan Lee is credited with leading the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a multimedia corporation, and developing his characters into longstanding franchises.
Hollywood talent agent Chris Nassif, founder of Diverse Talent Group and its parent company, Diverse Media Group, Inc., commented, “Stan Lee has excelled as a visionary, a leader in the global media industry and a creative talent whose complex fictional characters have become living, breathing members of our world. We are delighted to provide the setting for him to create characters based on real stars, which taps into the resources of CIA, POW! Entertainment and Diverse Media Group.”
It was recently announced that Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment would develop a one-hour superhero drama series for Showtime premium cable network (Viacom); he is also developing several feature films for Paramount Studios (Viacom).
Diverse Talent Group currently has numerous actors with regular or recurring roles, as well as producers, directors and writers working on shows airing on ABC (Disney), CBS (CBS Corp), Fox (News Corp), and NBC (General Electric) as well as many other networks. Nassif added, “The entertainment industry has historically done very well during economic hard times and that trend seems to be holding true as our current economy roller coasters. We are not only located in the epicenter of the entertainment industry but after many years of persistence we are now positioned to make our move and the timing is now right.”
The parent company of Diverse Talent Group is Diverse Media Group, Inc. and is listed on the Pink Sheets as DVME. The Company (http://www.diversemediagroupinc.com) is an entertainment company that aggregates expertise across all aspects of the media industry. The company has the ability to create programming, foster distribution and represent talented individuals to fuel a new digital age of content generation. The parent company also includes subsidiary, Talent Quest America, Inc., which identifies new and rising talent representing the future of the Hollywood entertainment community.
Chris Nassif has been an agent in the entertainment industry for the past 27 years. During that time he has represented actors, directors, producers, editors, and has packaged many television and feature film projects.
Chris’s business philosophy is to help clients broaden their expertise into new areas of the entertainment industry. He has set up production companies, crossed music stars into television and film, and helped writers to become successful directors. In February of 2000 he decided that he wanted to expand his representation abilities more broadly than the traditional talent agency model. He changed the name of his agency called C.N.A. and formed Diverse Talent Group, Inc. the company is based in Century City and has 25 employees.