Disclosure: I am long about $12,000 at an average price of about $0.08. My question . . .
I spoke to a couple of people in the business and there is some talk of the "agancy" fee/commission coming under attack from the various clients around the country. As many of you know, WHLM makes money on both sides of an engagement--the "talent" pays a commission and "agency" which is the client, pays a commission.
Some agencies, particularly the smaller ones, are waiving the client fee, which is putting downward pressure on revenues of the company.
Have any of you heard of this becoming a problem for WHLM?
NO, My understanding is 20% from both sides. With the big talent/clients WAM some of that is negotiated. I could see the small agencies doing it to compete against the 600 pound gorilla in the room, sounds like a good idea from their pov, but WHLM has had record gross billing in the last 2 Q's. Doesn't sound like they are having issues like that. I guess that could be and they are dealing with it well considering the gross billing is at record levels?
Hey, why were just bashing the dallas guys, when dieter/brad caused their share or more of all of this trouble(imo)? Dieter/brad have been raising bs issues the whole time while their shares were locked up it seems to me, but now everyone is talking sense the lock up period is over.
Both sides need to settle this dispute, and get on with the business plan of growing shareholder value.
I was retained as an advisor in 2002-2003 when the company was considering a rollup with other agencies. I have not checked my files, but I I am pretty sure the billings from NY, Miami and LA were much higher then. I know the company has added affiliates and agencies since then, but I still recall the billing much higher. In fact, the 9/11 bombings put a serious damper on earnings in 2002 as many models went to Europe to work from there.
Are you just referring to the period after the Texas LBO, when you talk about record billings? It's OK, but my memory from 2002-3 is that revenues were higher.
As for your question about Dieter and Brad. I happen to like Dieter quite a lot, but I think he needs to move on. His persistence in the current action is hurting the company.
I do like the business model, however, as entertainment and talent bookings are pretty much recession proof--at least compared to banking and real estate and technology.
I'd like to see the company promote Sean Patterson. He has great ideas and he is a winner.
Do you know what happened to the Marilyn Agency that used to share space in NY?