Update, February 18, 3:43 p.m.: Variety is reporting that Second City has officially sold to private-equity firm ZMC for an undisclosed amount. A statement issued by Jordan Turkewitz, co–chief investment officer and managing partner at the firm, announced ZMC’s intentions to commit to the theater’s push for inclusion. “We are very excited to partner with management and the incredible talent at The Second City to grow the brand and build a diverse organization that elevates all voices,” said Turkewitz. “Over its 60-year history, The Second City has been home to some of the most beloved names in comedy, and we plan on building the next generation of comedy talent by investing in people and creativity.”
February 16: Another shift is about to hit the world of improv theaters and training centers. Second City, the legendary Chicago venue that launched the careers of people like Tina Fey and Steve Carell, is in talks to be purchased by ZMC, a private-equity group. According to the Financial Times, the deal could be done as soon as this week, and the comedy institution could fetch a price of $50 million. ZMC is run by Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two, the video-game company behind Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption. The news of the sale comes just eight months after Second City’s CEO, Andrew Alexander, stepped down amid allegations of racism from numerous veterans of the theater. Performers like Dewayne Perkins and Amber Ruffin came forward at the time to talk about the racism they’d experienced there and wrote an open letter to the institution demanding action. Along with his resignation, Alexander also announced he would divest from Second City entirely.