Univision goes to market, buys partial Onion

the onion logoUnivision has acquired a controlling 40% stake in satirical publication The Onion, causing widespread cognitive dissonance among observers.

While the Spanish-language media giant’s investment in satire might not make perfect topical sense, it does work demographically — The Onion attracts a substantial Millennial audience. Also, as the New York Times reports, the web property extends Univision’s digital reach. The Times estimates the deal at less than $200-million, according to an unnamed source.

“Comedy is playing an expanding role in our culture as a vehicle for audiences to explore, debate and understand the important ideas of our time,” Isaac Lee, chief news and digital officer of Univision, told the NY Times.

“Onion Inc. has remained successful by putting editorial first,” Mike McAvoy, president and CEO of Onion Inc, told USA Today. “We’re excited to partner with Univision, a company that understands and appreciates that foundation, and that can provide additional resources, expertise, and opportunity for our talented staff.”

The Onion was started as a paper publication in 1988, in Madison, Wisconsin. It stopped printing in 2013, and the website serves 10.6-million visitors a month, according to Financial Times.

Brad Hill

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