Rob Beckham

Rob Beckham, Bill Simmons Launch AMG Management; Fitzgerald-Hartley Shutters

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NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) As has been anticipated for several weeks – if not for nearly a year – former co-chief of WME Nashville Rob Beckham plus Fitzgerald Hartley manager Bill Simmons have formed The AMG, aka the Artist Management Group.

The report comes almost simultaneously as news arrives that Fitzgerald Hartley is shuttering after 42 years. Clients apparently include Brad Paisley and Chris Young, whom Simmons has managed and Beckham has booked. Simmons and Beckham have yet to formerly announce their new company.

This is Beckham’s first foray into artist management, although in the world of Nashville the lines blur between agenting and managing. At WME, he also represented Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, Reba and, in a recent and substantial move for the artist, Garth Brooks.

Beckham recently spoke to this reporter at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, confirming that a major announcement was coming and also recognizing that the announcement after leaving WME in October was a long time coming as the pieces of the puzzle continued to shift behind the scenes.

Meanwhile, manager Larry Fitzgerald said he will focus on longtime client Vince Gill and Mark Hartley will focus on artist management and developing film and TV projects.

The official closing date is the end of the year.

“Mark and I forged a collaboration that has been successful, both personally and professionally, beyond our wildest dreams,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “Now I want to concentrate my efforts toward Vince. Though his accomplishments thus far have been enormous, I believe our partnership has been a cornerstone of my career, and I know we have many mountains yet to climb.”