UPDATE 2 - Are comedians the new rock stars? Yes, according to legendary music manager and deal maker Irving Azoff. Yesterday his Azoff MSG Entertainment, the joint venture between Azoff Music Management and the Madison Square Garden Company, announced the acquisition of a 50% stake in Levity Entertainment Group. LEG's holdings include live comedy venues, a comedy and reality television content production unit, talent management and online digital services.
Over the past 12 months, Azoff;'s AMSGE has also acquired interests in Burns Entertainment; Pop2Life, an experiential marketing company; and Digital Brand Architects, a digital management and creative services company.
LEG is one of the largest buyers of live comedy in the U.S., servicing tours, festivals, cruise lines and its own network of comedy clubs. Additionally, the company represents 70 artists including Jeff Dunham, Jenny McCarthy and Aaron McGruder, and has produced 1000 hours of television programming. LEG’s digital group, which provides social media services to individuals and brands, also owns Sideshow Network, a comedy and lifestyle podcast aggregator currently averaging over 5 million downloads per month.
LionTree Advisors acted as financial adviser on the acquisition.