A Behind-the-Scenes Mover and Shaker

Brian Weinstein, head of the corporate finance group, Creative Artists Agency
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In Hollywood, the glamour happens in front
of the camera, with young starlets smiling and
pouting in close-ups, and gossip bloggers posting
and tweeting about their every move.

But people forget sometimes how much real
action—and money—is made behind the scenes.

Which brings us to the Creative Artists Agency,
where Brian Weinstein is head of the corporate
finance group, and a mighty busy man.

“CAA’s TV business is like any other agency.
We package a show, bringing together a writer,
showrunner, creator, talent, and sometimes we
even bring funding,” says Weinstein. “That’s how
we look at all new business opportunities. Over
the last four or five years, we’ve started to talk
to companies in a different way. We decided to
transition from a pure agency to a much different
company.”

In his seven
years at CAA,
Weinstein has
orchestrated
several lucrative
partnerships,
including bringing
the Anschutz
Entertainment
Group—one
of the world’s
largest owners
of sports teams
and producers
of live events—
together with
Mark Cuban to turn Cuban’s HD Net into AXS TV,
which will premiere with a soft launch in July.
Weinstein also worked with Ryan Seacrest and
his company, Ryan Seacrest Media, to secure
a commitment of up to $300 million in capital
from Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital to
pursue acquisitions.

Weinstein also counts among his clients
Mandalay Sports Media (which he helped
to create), Condé Nast Entertainment, Lorne
Michaels’ Broadway Video, Illumination and
Tribeca Enterprises.

“This economic environment is incredibly
difficult,” says Weinstein. “Everything is hard,
and we expect everything to fall apart before it
closes. But we work hard and we are aggressive.
We think our chances to succeed for our clients
is better than for others.”

Weinstein came to CAA in 2005, after working
as a corporate associate in the New York and
Los Angeles offices of the law firm of Skadden,
Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Prior to that, while
he was attending Columbia University School
of Law, Weinstein was the founder and CEO of
marketinginfo.com, a venture capital-funded
Internet company.

Earlier, Weinstein graduated from Yale University
and went to work for the Clinton/Gore presidential
campaign in 1996. He then worked in the
Justice Department during the Clinton administration
before heading back to law school.

“All of this is us and our clients dreaming,” he
says. “We want to benefit and assist the ambition
and creativity of our clients. The best deals—the
deals that close—are true partnerships.”

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