June 4, 2021 – ZRG has acquired Sucherman Group, a media and entertainment focused executive search firm. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founder Stuart Sucherman and CEO Erik Sorenson, both former media executives, will continue to lead the organization. “We are thrilled to add the premier team in the media space to the ZRG family. They have built an incredible team and are content sector experts who bring clear value to every engagement,” said Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG. “With our recent acquisition of Turnkey Sports, the boutique leader in the sports sector, adding the No. 1 boutique in media and entertainment broadens our market expertise and provides strong access to crossover talent in both areas.”
The combination provides both organizations with access to new industries and products. Sucherman will adopt ZRG’s tech-enabled, data-driven approach to search — including its proprietary collaborative Zi platform and Z Score — enhancing the customized, hands-on approach for which the Sucherman team is known. Mr. Sorenson, a former president of MSNBC and former executive producer of the CBS Evening News, said: “Companies are navigating an increasingly complex environment in which people, culture and organizational design are more critical than ever to achieving business goals and managing business risk,” he said. “We are delighted to join with them to accelerate our collective growth in the media/entertainment space and beyond.”
With offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London, Sucherman’s clients range from media giants to entertainment leaders to tech providers such as Disney, ViacomCBS, WarnerMedia, SONY, Univision, Snap, Twitch and Spotify. Sucherman’s reach is global, with search and advisory work conducted in 2021 across markets including Los Angeles, New York, London, Singapore, Athens, Sydney, Dubai and Johannesburg. From streaming (Paramount+ and HBO Max) to podcasting (Spotify and Audible), Sucherman has transformed along with the entertainment industry to stay ahead of consumer behavior and changes in technology.
Mr. Sucherman, who has advised almost every major media company in the U.S., said: “Over three decades, the biggest brands in media and entertainment have turned to us, I believe, because we consistently deliver unvarnished advice as trusted confidantes who understand their business first-hand. I’m proud to be joining with Larry and the ZRG team because we share a dedication to bespoke client-centered service grounded in a commitment to discretion and integrity.”
A Fast-Growing Firm
ZRG, founded in 1999, is a progressive mid-sized global executive search firm and one of the fastest growing in the search industry. It provides a full suite of executive, middle-management, and customized search solutions through its offices in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. The firm finds leaders across a broad spectrum of business markets, including aerospace, consumer, education, healthcare services and solutions, industrial, life sciences, non-profit, private equity and venture capital, and technology.
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Earlier this year, ZRG made a major move into the sports, entertainment and media sectors by acquiring Turnkey Search. Renamed TurnkeyZRG, all Turnkey staff and assets have now merged into ZRG and the firm continues to be led by Len Perna, the founder, chairman, and CEO of the sports recruiting franchise. Turnkey is adopting ZRG’s tech-enabled, data-driven approach to the search process which it says will give the newly merged firm a competitive edge in the hunt for sports, media and entertainment talent. Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG, called the deal a “blockbuster acquisition.”
Hunt Scanlon Ventures facilitated the introduction and transaction between ZRG and Turnkey, two perennial leaders in Hunt Scanlon’s rankings of executive search firms. “Len Perna built Turnkey into the most formidable sports recruiting brand in the nation,” said CEO Scott A. Scanlon. “This combination allows ZRG to deliver its ‘Moneyball’ approach to sports and entertainment, using a proprietary Z Score ‘scorecard’ to leverage data and analytics into better hiring decisions,” he said. “Unlocking hidden value in talent and skills makes this the ultimate Moneyball team. It is a game-changer in sports and entertainment recruiting,” Mr. Scanlon noted.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media