Brace yourselves because what you’re about to read is not satire: Univison bought The Onion. Yes, Old uncle Univision, the one who’s hip to all the buzzwords them crazy kids keep saying, acquired one of the most emblematic sources of American comedy, says NPR:
Univision will acquire a 40 percent, controlling stake in The Onion, which includes the site, its influential sister popular-culture outfit The A.V. Club, the social media satire site Clickhole, and various book and video projects. Univision also will have the right to buy the humor company outright.
But, but, but… why!? Because Univision is the funniest network ever — not intentionally, of course, but that’s another point.
Also, this seems to be part of Univision’s bigger plan to ensnare those elusive millennials everyone keeps talking about. Essentially it’s the kind of audience which may be of Latino descent but are not watching Uncle Univision because, seriously, why would they? I mean, even their “cool” awards shows are for old people.
Randy Falco, Univision’s big wig, is aware of all this:
Randy Falco, Univision’s CEO, and Isaac Lee, its president of news and digital, have concluded that humor is a key ingredient to appeal to the millennial palate. They hope to build on The Onion’s traffic for their existing digital sites, which are experiencing marked growth but not yet enjoying much in the way of profits.
If you’re media savvy, then you’re probably asking yourself: “wasn’t that the point of Fusion, Univision and ABC’s joint venture? To capture the Latino millennial imagination?” The short answer is yes. But Fusion got cold feet, and now they’re trying to reach all millennials, not just the Latino ones:
Univision launched the English-language Fusion network in concert with Disney’s ABC network to reach English-speaking Latinos, a venture that soon pivoted to reach millennials more generally.
From a business point of view, it makes sense to go after all millennials and not just the Latino ones since, in this case, Fusion’s content is published in English anyway. However, doing so also pits them against all the big boys, which is probably why Fusion was having a hard time defining itself after they dropped the Latino tag. (Disclaimer: I’ve written stuff for Fusion before.)
The good news is that, at least according to Univision, they’re not going to fuck with The Onion’s editorial in any way, but will only rename the site “La Cebolla Chacal de la Cuatro que Jorge Ramos regaló a Raúl De Molina por parte de las nalgas de Don Francisco.”
(Just kidding about the last part, but not everything else.)