As expected, Azoff MSG Entertainment (AMSGE) -- the joint venture between Azoff Music Management and the Madison Square Garden Company -- will announce today the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in Levity Entertainment Group (LEG).
The partnership with LEG, which includes a national platform of live comedy venues, a comedy and reality television content production unit, and talent management and online digital services, bolsters AMSGE’s growing portfolio of media companies.
Levity Entertainment Group was created in a 2009 merger between Levity Management and Triage Entertainment. LEG has four divisions: Live, Management, Production and Digital.
“We are thrilled to have LEG join the AMSGE family,” says Irving Azoff, CEO of AMSGE, in a statement. “Robert Hartmann, Stu Schreiberg, Norm Aladjem, and Judi Brown-Marmel have built a unique ecosystem to identify talent and provide them with career and content opportunities that extend across multiple distribution platforms worldwide.”
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 currently represents approximately 70 artists including Jeff Dunham (winner of the Top Comedy Tour at the Billboard Touring Awards for three consecutive years), Jenny McCarthy, and Aaron McGruder; and has produced over 1,000 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.
"The partnership with AMSGE brings us a wealth of resources and relationships that will further allow us to grow our clients' careers and our overall business," says LEG CEO Robert Hartmann. "There is only one Irving - his knowledge and experience is unprecedented. I also happen to think he has a promising future as a stand-up."
Over the past 12 months, AMSGE has also acquired interests in Burns Entertainment; Pop2Life, an experiential marketing company; and Digital Brand Architects, a digital management and creative services company.
LionTree Advisors acted as financial advisor on the acquisition.