Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications, two years after buying struggling online media properties Gizmodo Media Group and satirical online publisher The Onion, said it is exploring the sale of both.
Univision said the sale would allow it to focus on its core assets and strengthen its position as a leading broadcaster for the U.S. Hispanic community.
Gizmodo Media Group includes online sites Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Splinter, The Root, Kotaku, Earther and Jalopnik. The Onion portfolio includes The Onion, Clickhole, The A.V. Club and The Takeout.
Univision tried to sell a 20% interest in the publishing unit last year for $200 million, but had no takers.
The news is just another in a series of shakeups at Univision over the past several months. On March 6 it said it would shelve plans for an initial public offering and a day later said CEO Randy Falco would retire.
Reports over the past few weeks have said that Univision was contemplating a sale of Fusion Media Group, the unit that includes Gizmodo Media, The Onion and television properties Fusion TV, El Rey and websites for its Univision television channel – Univision.com and Fusion.net. According to Univision, the TV assets will not be included in any sale.
Univision has struggled to monetize the Gizmodo sites, and according to reports, staffers were recently pressured into taking buyouts to avoid heavier layoffs.
Univision purchased the publishing properties in 2016, shortly after their parent – Gawker Media – declared bankruptcy after losing a $140 million libel suit against professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. Hogan had sued – with the financial backing of PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel – after the Gawker site published excerpts from a sex tape of Hogan and the wife of his friend, shock-jock Bubba The Love Sponge.
Univision said it has engaged Morgan Stanley as an advisor for the process, adding that there is no guarantee a deal will be reached.
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