Univision Buys Controlling Stake in ... the Onion?

According to NPR report, satirical site fits in with company's millennial vision
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2016 7:31 AM CST
Univision Buys Controlling Stake in ... the Onion?
This Aug. 5, 2003, file photo shows the exterior of Univision's Los Angeles headquarters.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

"Area Satiric Publication The Onion Sold to Univision" sounds like the start of a jokey headline you'd read in—well, the Onion. But in this case, NPR is adding a (Seriously) to the end of that, indicating this is apparently no joke. Reporter David Folkenflik, citing two sources said to be in the know about negotiations, writes that the Spanish-language network has acquired a 40% controlling stake in the satirical news site, as well as its AV Club and ClickHole sites, and book and video projects. And while they may seem like two entirely disparate ventures, Folkenflik notes that the Onion may fall neatly into the fold of Univision's plan to reach a younger generation of Latinos who are increasingly turning to English-language content.

In fact, that's also the goal of Fusion, a property Univision launched in 2013 in conjunction with Disney's ABC to "extend Univision's unequaled coverage of Hispanic issues and lifestyle to English-dominant audiences for the first time." As NPR notes, Univision bigwigs think humor is one of the keys to appealing to Latino millennials, which would make the Onion a valuable addition to its portfolio. And it's not Univision's first venture into the world of comedy: It's already produced a show with the Funny or Die site and aired a project with Daily Show correspondent Al Madrigal, per NPR. The Onion will remain in Chicago for now, Folkenflik notes. (Does that mean Donald Trump won't ever read the Onion again?)

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