Univision is looking to sell Chicago-based humor site The Onion and its Gizmodo digital portfolio to focus on its core Spanish-language television network.
The broadcaster, which is reorganizing under a new CEO, announced Tuesday that it is exploring the sale after two years of owning a controlling stake in the irreverent comedic institution.
Vince Sadusky, who was named CEO of Univision in May, said in a memo to employees Tuesday that the sale would benefit both The Onion and the New York-based network, which serves Hispanic viewers across the U.S.
“While they have had success with us, there is no doubt in my mind that they can thrive even more as part of a company whose focus aligns better with theirs,” Sadusky said. “Likewise, it is important for Univision to exit a business which does not enhance our core mission, and instead refocus on our strengths.”
Univision bought a 40.5 percent stake in The Onion’s parent company in 2016. The Onion portfolio also includes pop culture site A.V. Club, satire site ClickHole and Onion Labs, an in-house advertising agency.
The Gizmodo Media Group, also acquired by Univision in 2016, includes Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker and other websites.
The Onion started in 1988 as a student-run publication at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and grew to national prominence by parodying newspapers with satirical headlines and stories. Money manager David Schafer led a group that bought The Onion in 2001.
The paper relocated its editorial operations to Chicago in 2012 and went all-digital the following year, expanding into a variety of new brands.
Univision has hired Morgan Stanley as financial adviser in the possible sale of The Onion and Gizmodo sites.
In his memo, Sadusky said there were no assurances that the process would result in a transaction and that it was too early to tell what the outcome or timing would be.