Alumni Spotlight Arts & Humanities Business & Economy

The Talent Agents

Jonathan Insogna AB ’04
Talent Agent
William Morris Endeavor

 Matthew Morgan BBA ’02
United Talent Agency

Matthew Morgan (above right) and Jonathan Insogna both graduated from UGA within a couple years of each other. They were in different programs—Morgan studied marketing; Insogna, speech communications—and they didn’t know one another, but they did share a love of live music.

But could a love of music lead to a career? Did they think that was possible?

“Yeah, the answer is no,” Morgan laughs. He was passionate about music and even worked for some artists’ street teams, but it wasn’t until his senior year, when he landed an internship at Country Music Television (CMT) in Nashville, that he thought music could be a career.

“Once you’re here and you really start in the scene, you begin to figure out where you want to belong,” Morgan says. “That was a light bulb moment for me: This is something that I could do.”

Insogna saw some potential. While in Athens, he played in a few bands and knew there had to be some musical infrastructure behind the scenes.

“I knew there was someone that booked the concerts and another person who represented the artists. I didn’t know if that was a manager or agent or label,” he says. “I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I wanted to do something with it.”

Insogna moved to Nashville permanently in 2005. While going to graduate school, he took a series of odd jobs. One of them was at the William Morris Agency, which merged with Endeavor in 2009 forming WME, where he started at the literal bottom: the mailroom.

Morgan began a few floors higher. He parlayed his CMT internship into a producer job at the network. Through some connections, he ended up backstage at a lot of rock and country shows in town. He met agents and was amazed at their access to artists.

“Why doesn’t everybody want to do this?” he recalls thinking. “It felt as close as you could get to artists’ careers and really having a direct impact on helping them grow their own career.”

In 2004, he joined Creative Arts Agency (CAA) where he stayed for nearly 14 years before he was hired at WME. By that time, Insogna had long since graduated from the mailroom and become an agent himself.

“It’s a ladder,” Insogna says. “You have to be the one raising your hand to do the things no one else wants to do. You do that well, and you’ll be asked to do something else.”

Morgan and Insogna worked together for four years at WME, and they have an easy rapport even though they are now significant competitors.

In December 2021, Morgan was hired by United Talent Agency (UTA), one of the largest agencies in the world. Six months later, he was promoted to partner, and he now leads the agency’s 65-person Nashville office. He still represents several artists, including those whose careers he’s guided for years. But as partner, he gets to stretch his leadership skills in a lot of fulfilling ways.

“You’ll see an artist that’s special,” he says, “and we need to figure out how to amplify them and how to put the right team around them. We have to tell the world that they are something to pay attention to.”

Insogna, for his part, is now a 17-year veteran of WME. He continues to represent a variety of clients and has played a key role in the growth of the agency’s Americana department and representation of the genre’s top-touring acts. He’s also something of a sage at WME. At the age of 42.

“I still feel really young. And I am young. But in the eyes of the 23-year-olds I work with, I’m ancient,” he laughs. “But I have an open door. Anyone who wants to come talk to me can. I really enjoy working with younger people. They’re the future leaders of this industry, and it’s important for us to not only give guidance but to listen too. It helps keep me grounded in the world.”

Photos by Peter Frey BFA ’94