Don Epstein

Don Epstein

Beverly Hills-based United Talent Agency has acquired for an undisclosed sum New York’s Greater Talent Network speakers bureau in a move to stake its claim as the market leader in live speaking engagements.

“Overnight this makes UTA the global leader among talent agencies on the speaking circuit,” UTA co-president Jay Sure said in a statement Tuesday.

GTN founder Don Epstein, who is now a UTA partner, said in a statement that GTN has received many offers to combine forces with other companies, but chose UTA for its hands-on approach to serving artists, public figures and content providers.

“Our clients will continue to experience the same level of service and expertise as they always have from GTN,” Epstein said. “But by becoming part of UTA, we will be able to vastly increase clients’ visibility and demand.”

The acquisition marks another major move in the expansion of UTA in 2017. Earlier this year, the media company took an equity stake in the British investment firm AGM Partnership.

GTN will continue to operate out of its New York City and Florida offices.

Epstein launched GTN out of a New York brownstone in 1982 by signing initial clients P.J. O’Rourke and Tom Wolfe. The agency also promoted cultural icons including Hunter S. Thompson, Abbie Hoffman and Timothy Leary.

Contact media and entertainment reporter Diane Haithman at dhaithman@labusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @dhaithman for the latest in L.A. business news.