Headshot of La Cieca

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CAMI-kaze?

the_shining_blood_elevators“The halls of CAMI are not a happy place right now,” an insider informs La Cieca, and according to information received by parterre.com more than half a dozen long-time Columbia Artists Management personnel have not had their contracts renewed in recent weeks.

The most prominent name among these is legendary artists manager Ken Benson, a fixture at CAMI for a quarter of a century.

Benson’s associate Robert Scott is also leaving the agency. Some of the artists they managed are being shifted to other CAMI managers, but La Cieca hears that at least one of their roster has already signed with another agency. Meanwhile, La Cieca hears, Director of Vocal Divisions Matthew Epstein has been tasked with “holding the biggest commission makers to their contracts.”

“After the evisceration of the vocal roster by [Alec] Treuhaft and [Jeffrey] Vanderveen when they fled for IMG” a decade ago and the “decampment” of Bruce Zemsky and Alan Green in 2005, our source laments that the top-heavy Vocal Division at CAMI is now being slammed harder than most agencies by the recession.

10 comments

  • jatm2063 says:

    Slammed harder? It seems that what is happening there is simply a delayed version of what has happened to the rest of the country (and world) these days.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Soon there will only be Suzuki left to close and open WIlford’s shoji.

  • mrmyster says:

    Wilford is still trying to figure out what to do
    with Leonard Slatkin who has become virtually
    unmarketable. Detroit may soon figure that
    out. Meanwhile, who is going to be music
    director of the Santa Fe Opera? That post
    wants filling but remains open.

  • jeepgerhard says:

    Ken Benson got his marching papers a few weeks back. Ms. Epstein still strolls the UWS with the usual cocky, pregnant-looking pace. But WILFORD? He’s been gaga for years, and even when he was compos mentis, he was a nut-job — brilliant, but a nut-job. The only weird thing that’s happened in artist management lately -- IMO -- is: WHY did IMG hire JACK MASTROIANNI, the laziest person in two shoes? And put him in charge of the vocal dept? Still IMG and Opus3 (despite the loss of the much-missed Byron Gustafson carry on well — much better organized and RUN. The latter by a former major at CAMI. Wilford’s a shell, and Tim Fox and Jean-Jacques Cesbron are powerless till company charter is changed…

  • Quanto Painy Fakor says:

  • Lalala says:

    CAMI has been rupturing talent for years as vocalists have headed to other agencies. It is easy to see why a singer would grow tired with the shifting of artists, lack of attention to detail, and lack of career building--not to mention, the too big roster. I’m sorry to see Ken out of there--he was respected by the singing community outside of CAMI—was that a problem? Maybe I should simply be happy for him.

  • Signor Bruschino says:

    part of the problem is Jean Jacques…probably in the theatre world, only George Lane at CAA comes closest to being the most hated agent in NY

  • operanow says:

    We broke this a few weeks ago..check it out here…http://bit.ly/d1mm0L

  • jatm2063 says:

    “The halls of CAMI are not a happy place right now.”

    Well I guess not. You go riding around on your Big Wheel and the elevators spew blood at you and phantom twin girls say, “Come play with us, here at CAMI, forever, and ever, and ever, and ever…..”