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Not a Joke: Univision Invests in The Onion

Satire website will continue to operate independently

Why did Univision cross the road? To invest in The Onion.

Now that the joking is out of the way, let’s get down to business, like the two media companies have: The Hispanic America-serving Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) has become a minority investor in digital brand Onion Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“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,” said Isaac Lee, chief news and digital officer of Univision and CEO of Fusion. “It has also proven to be an incredibly engaging format for millennial audiences, and is expected to play a key part in the 2016 presidential election process via our robust content offerings in Spanish and English.”

“The Onion has been, and continues to be, a leading force of this phenomenon of intellectual, social, cultural and satirical commentary online,” he continued. “As we did with the acquisition of The Root in 2015, with Onion Inc. we are expanding our role as a go-to source for digitally-connected, diverse audiences. Including Onion Inc. as part of our portfolio is a great fit for and a significant step forward in our digital strategy as we continue to expand the ways we entertain and inform millennial and multicultural audiences.”

“Onion Inc. has remained successful by putting editorial first. 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,” said Mike McAvoy, president and chief executive officer at Onion Inc.

Onion Inc. nabs 25 million monthly unique engagements across its platform. It will continue to operate independently, but UCI will have oversight of Onion Inc. to leverage Univision Digital’s distribution, resources and media expertise to expand the exposure of the brand.

In particular, Univision Digital will work with Onion Inc.’s brands to explore new content opportunities, including short and long-form formats for each Onion brand across digital and linear mediums.

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