SBJ/Nov. 8-14, 2010/This Week's Issue

Bevilacqua to exit CAA, will launch own media firm

Just two years after joining CAA, Chris Bevilacqua is planning to leave the agency and launch his own independent media consulting business.

Bevilacqua, who helped launch CSTV and served as CEO of CAA Sports Media Venture, is looking for office space in New York and has been trying to raise capital for a new firm, according to several sources.

Bevilacqua didn’t return calls seeking comment. CAA declined to comment.

Bevilacqua Media Co., as the new company will be known, will exist as separate and apart from CAA. People who have been approached about it said the new business will focus less on advisory work around media rights and more on creating new assets like linear sports channels or acquiring existing sports media assets that are undervalued.

Bevilacqua will continue to work with CAA’s Evolution Media Capital on existing consulting contracts such as the Pac 10 that began during his time at the firm. He is expected to become completely independent after seeing those relationships to term.

Former USTA executive Alan Gold will lead Evolution Media’s sports media practice once Bevilacqua leaves.

The new venture will mark Bevilacqua’s third job in four years. Shortly after CSTV was sold to CBS for $325 million in 2005, he joined Dave Checketts’ sports venture, SCP Worldwide. He left SCP two years later to join CAA.

Bevilacqua formed a new venture initially known as CAA Sports Media Venture with CAA and Evolution Media Capital, CAA’s media investment and consulting partner. During his tenure, CAA and Evolution Media Capital began consulting for the International Olympic Committee, the Pac 10, the San Diego Padres and the NHL.

Bevilacqua initially controlled two seats on the new venture’s board, with CAA also controlling two and Evolution one. He will no longer have a board seat.

With the move, Bevilacqua becomes one in a series of media experts to launch a new, independent consultancy. Former IMG and NHL executive Doug Perlman and longtime ESPN programming executive Len DeLuca recently have launched separate, independent consultancies and signed on to work with top properties such as the USTA and the New York Racing Association, respectively.

Staff writer Michael Smith contributed to this report.

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