WM Entertainment was founded in 2008 as a private company by Lee Wonmin (birth name: Kim Jungsoo), a former solo artist and former manager in the 90s and early 00s. WM Entertainment first managed 3 artists: Taegoon, H-Eugene and Ahn Jinkyung (former Baby Vox Re.V member), but all of them left the label. Later Kim Jinmi, a former employee of Dream Factory and a founding member of FNC Entertainment, became a director at WM Entertainment.
Lee Wonmin and Kim Jinmi got ready to debut their own boy group B1A4 in 2011. Fans knew that B1A4 came from a small, unknown agency which rented a floor in a building as office and a basement for B1A4’s practice room, but on ‘Idol Drama Operation Team’ it was revealed Lee Wonmin actually borrowed a lot of money from his friends at other agencies to debut B1A4. B1A4 never complained about their circumstances nor about the bad treatment they received on music shows as artist from an unknown agency (dressing room under a staircase).
A lot of Kpop fans made fun of B1A4’s outfits in their beginning years but they were handmade by B1A4’s stylists with the low budget they had.
As B1A4 continued to grow into a successful group, WM Entertainment was able to buy their own six story building in Mangwon-dong (Mapo District) in 2014. Because B1A4 is the artist which made WM Entertainment big, Oh My Girl and ONF always refer to them as ‘B1A4 sunbaenim’ out of deep respect despite that they are all really close to B1A4.
WM Entertainment also found their brand: they look for gemstones to make them into diamonds and shining stars. ‘WM Entertainment: where stars are born and legends are made.’
In February 2015 director Kim Jinmi gave an interview about WM Entertainment and it is a must read for fans!
WM Director Kim Jinmi: “The role of an agency is to be a fence. We support the members as people, not as celebrities, and we want to be the part of a fence.”
In April 2015 WM Entertainment debuted their second artist and first girl group Oh My Girl.
On August 25, 2016 it was announced that JinE would take a hiatus from Oh My Girl’s activities to receive anorexia treatment.
In 2017 WM Entertainment debuted two new artists: solo singer I (B1A4 Baro’s younger sister, Cha Yoonji) & boy group ONF.
On October 30, 2017 it was announced that JinE wouldn’t return to Oh My Girl and that her contract with WM Entertainment was terminated after long discussions regarding JinE’s further activities.
In May 2018 WM Entertainment sent a few of their female trainees (Lee Chaeyeon, Lee Seunghyun & Jo Youngin) to Produce 48. Lee Chaeyeon promoted under IZ*ONE from October 29, 2018 until April 29, 2021.
On June 30, 2018 it was announced that B1A4 Jinyoung & Baro didn’t renew their contracts with WM Entertainment and left the company.
On October 5, 2018 it was announced that I (Cha Yoonji)’s contract with WM Entertainment was ended on mutual agreement.
On December 10, 2018 WM Entertainment announced their first family single called ‘TIMING‘.
In 2019 WM Entertainment sent male trainee Lee Gyuhyung to Produce X 101.
On January 22, 2019 B1A4 CNU started his mandatory military service as an active duty soldier.
On August 23, 2019 it was announced that Laun withdrew from ONF and that his contract with WM Entertainment was terminated due personal reasons.
On April 9, 2020 WM Entertainment signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with KT’s KTOON to create and market original webtoon content starring B1A4, Oh My Girl and ONF.
B1A4 CNU started his final military leave on July 28, 2020 due COVID-19 regulations while his military service officially ended on August 28, 2020.
On August 14, 2020 WM Entertainment opened an official Instagram account.
On September 4, 2020 B1A4, OH MY GIRL and ONF had a WM family concert called ‘HELLO! WM ONTACT LIVE 2020’ with many special unit stages and covers. On the same day WM Entertainment released their second family single called ‘너와 나의 시대 (OURS)‘.
On April 7, 2021 it was announced that WM Entertainment signed a SPA (Share Purchase Agreement) with RBW (home to MAMAMOO, VROMANCE, ONEUS, ONEWE and PURPLE KISS) on March 31, 2021. RBW has acquired 70% of WM Entertainment’s shares and became the largest shareholder. WM Entertainment will become a subsidiary of RBW and will maintain their label name and artist management rights. RBW and WM Entertainment agreed to work together to expand their artist planning and content production.
On April 29, 2021 Lee Chaeyeon’s activities under IZ*ONE ended and she returned to WM Entertainment for her future activities.
On October 9, 2021 it was announced that RBW has passed the preliminary examination to be listed on KOSDAQ as public company on the stock market with a board of directors and public shareholders. It’s unsure whether this will have a big effect on WM Entertainment as RBW’s subsidiary.
On October 14, 2021 RBW’s investor report was released which revealed more information about WM Entertainment’s current management. Lee Wonmin (real name: Kim Jungsoo) isn’t mentioned as WM Entertainment’s CEO anymore. Kim Gookjin from RBW is listed as CEO since April 2021 in the report. The report also revealed more about the contracts of the artists.
On November 2, 2021 ONF’s leaders Hyojin and J-US uploaded handwritten letters on ONF’s official fancafe to announce that Hyojin, E-TION, J-US, Wyatt and MK will enlist together at the end of 2021. Member U doesn’t have to enlist since he’s a Japanese citizen.
On November 11, 2021 B1A4 Sandeul started his mandatory military service as public service worker and his military service is expected to last until August 10, 2023.
On November 16, 2021 all photos and videos of WM Entertainment’s female trainees (also known as WM GIRLS) and all photos of the male trainees except for Lee Gyuhyung and Yun Siyun were removed from wm ggumnamu’s official Instagram account. The trainees most probably left WM Entertainment.
On December 21, 2021 ONF MK will start his mandatory military service as an active duty soldier and his military service is expected to last until June 20, 2023.
On December 27, 2021 ONF J-US and Wyatt will start their mandatory military service as active duty soldiers and it’s expected to last until June 26, 2023.
On December 28, 2021 ONF Hyojin & E-TION will start their mandatory military service as active duty soldiers and it’s expected to last until June 27, 2023.