On Monday, Univision sent out a press release acknowledging that they are considering selling Deadspin as part of the Gizmodo Media Group as well as The Onion. Univision and their digital arm, then called Fusion Media Group, purchased Deadspin and Gawker Media’s other assets in August of 2016 after the company declared bankruptcy in the wake of Hulk Hogan’s civil lawsuit.
The press release notes that there is no deal in place and the company isn’t even guaranteed to sell. Univision has hired Morgan Stanley to assist in the process. It paid $135 million for the Gizmodo properties. There have been no indication of what price Univision is seeking.
There is no indication one way or another of whether Univision might be willing to sell the Gizmodo sites individually. Andrew Bucholtz of Awful Announcing notes that the diversity of the properties’ respective focuses may make them hard to sell as a group.
The Gizmodo Media Group package may be a difficult one to sell in its own right, as those titles (many of which were part of the Gawker group, but The Root was owned by Slate until its sale to Univision in 2015, Earther was launched after the Gawker acquisition, and Splinter is the rebranded Fusion website, which Univision owned before picking up Gawker) are exceptionally different, covering everything from tech to sports to cars to “nature for nerds” (Earther), “politics and social justice news” (Splinter), “celebrity, sex and fashion for women – without airbrushing” (Jezebel), and “Black news, opinions, politics and culture” (The Root).
Some publishers might find some Gizmodo Media Group titles to be a great fit with their current catalogue, but might not have interest in the others. That was part of the limited bidding for Gawker’s assets in bankruptcy court, which saw only Univision and Ziff Davis (which could be involved again) make formal bids. And selling these titles off together could become even more challenging if the Onion portfolio is going to be part of this package deal too.
Univision, which was hoping to expand its appeal beyond just Spanish language content when it purchased Gawker media, is now shifting back to Spanish content as the core of its business.