Darnell Strom, a top talent and speakers agent, has left the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for the United Talent Agency (UTA), according to two sources familiar with his exit. Strom, who represents, among others, former Vice President Joe Biden, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Gayle King, actress Gabrielle Union, NBC “Today Show” co-host Jenna Bush Hager, former Obama White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and former national security adviser Susan Rice, will continue representing clients in news and entertainment at UTA, focusing on news contracts, speaking opportunities and publishing deals.
It’s unclear which of Strom’s clients will leave CAA to join him at UTA.
The move further strengthens UTA’s news and speaking divisions while further gutting CAA’s news division, which also lost agent Olivia Metzger last year. Metzger took many of her clients with her when she left to set up her own shop. The group included CBS News anchor Jeff Glor, NBC “Today Show” co-host Craig Melvin, NBC News White House reporter Kristen Welker, MSNBC reporter Steve Kornacki, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle, and Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum.
UTA, under the leadership of its co-president Jay Sures, has made a big push in the past four years to establish its news and speakers division (after acquiring the independent agency N.S. Bienstock in 2014), and it now boasts a top-shelf talent roster.
The agency now reps top news talent at CBS, CNN, NBC News, ABC and Fox News ranging from “CBS This Morning” anchor Norah O’Donnell, CNN’s Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper, NBC News’ “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd, and ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, among others.
CAA and UTA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.