So you wanna be a hotshot agent like Ari on that horrible Entourage show? Well, you'll probably have to start out as an assistant, which means you'd better have a trust fund or an insatiable fondness for ramen noodles.
According to a tipster, a meeting was called on Monday at the New York offices of William Morris Endeavor where Cara Stein, COO of WME-NY, informed agency assistants, most of whom came from William Morris in the merger with Endeavor, that their salaries are being slashed drastically, some down to $10 an hour. A rumor that such a thing might be happening was floated last month. Now it's been confirmed.
Calling the move a "cost-cutting measure to keep costs under control," Stein laid out the new pre-tax, seniority-based compensation rates for agent's assistants:
Employed at WME less than 1 year - $10/hr
Employed at WME 1-2 years - $11/hr
Employed at WME 2-3 years - $12/hr
Employed at WME 3 years or more - capped at $14 hour.
We're told that prior to the merger with Endeavor, newly hired assistants at William Morris were making $13 an hour and up. Additionally, Stein informed the assistants that they'll be forced to work a mandatory 50 hour work week from here on out. No word on whether or not the firm will set up a "good assistant" bonus prize ala Conde Nast.
Not receiving pay cuts: Assistants in the music and personal appearance departments. Our tipster speculates that Ari Emanuel doesn't want to do anything to ruffle the feathers of the heads of these departments as they're generating tremendous revenue for the company at this point.
Speaking of Ari, we wonder if he and his WME co-CEOs, Patrick Whitesell and Dave Wirtschafter, will be taking pay cuts like the little people to help the company's bottom line. If you've any insight into this, feel free to pass it along to us. Your confidentiality will be held sacred.