Univision buys controlling stake in satirical website The Onion
The Spanish language broadcaster Univision today announced that it had bought a 40 percent stake in the satirical website The Onion. What followed, of course, was a lot of “no kidding” reports, but I guess some reporters just couldn’t help themselves (though it should be noted that the person who broke the story, NPR’s David Folkenflik, played it straight, though his editor couldn’t help himself).
The satirical news site has made a successful transition from print to digital. Founded in Madison, Wisconsin, home to the University of Wisconsin, The Onion in 2013 shuttered its print edition, while also launching Onion Labs, an advertising agency. The Onion also runs the entertainment and pop culture publication The A.V. Club.
The acquisition by Univision is another of the M&A moves by traditional media companies designed to grow their digital audiences. In this case, The Onion brings in a young demographic, one that is more likely to consume digital media over print or broadcast.
What this does for The Onion, though, is to be seen, as the satire site has never been owned by a large media firm, one cautious about being sued, one less likely to support some satirical features.