Area husband told to pick up onions accidentally returns home with media empire.* According to NPR, Univision has bought a 40 percent controlling stake in The Onion, with the right to later buy the media company in full. The Onion, which in addition to its eponymous site includes serious pop culture outlet The AV Club and bastion of painful truth Clickhole, has been on market since at least November 2014.
For Univision, the company has another avenue through which it can potentially reach a younger demographic, a strategy it is explicitly pushing with its co-venture Fusion. NPR notes that its "formidable — but in many ways unrealized — aspirations" for Fusion was a key reason that Univision sought an additional source of millennial eyeballs.
The Onion selling to Univision, after a long search for a buyer. Onion CEO in October: pic.twitter.com/RmWEjIgfeC— Peter Kafka (@pkafka) January 19, 2016
While America's Finest New Source has long satirized the media, it's consequently followed the same trends, experimenting with both sponsored content (currently the source of most its profits) and, briefly in August 2011, paywalls (oops). The multiple Peabody Award-winning Onion launched as a weekly print publication in 1988 before moving online in 1996 (the print edition ceased in 2013). In 2009 it sold itself to the Chinese (...). In late 2011, The Onion began moving its entire operation, including editorial, to Chicago from New York, losing many of its key talent in the process. In 2014 it launched a spinoff Clickhole, and You Won't Believe What Happened Next.**
* Alternate intro lines include "Area news satire publication endures same fate as the media it mocks" and "Spanish broadcasting network bets future on doomed media industry."
** Okay, you probably would.