What Univision’s stake in The Onion means

The purchase by Univision of a 40 percent stake in the satirical publication “The Onion” was met with incredulity, mostly because the acquired media company is precisely in the business of publishing phony and improbable news for comic relief. But the decision has a serious rational. Univision says it sees the purchase as an opportunity to penetrate in the increasingly influential comedy segment, and to reach out in Spanish—for a long time the second most spoken language in the U.S.— and in English to the generation of millennials in the presidential campaign in the country in 2016. According to comScore, the digital sites of Univision attracted 19.5 million unique visitors in December, while those of The Onion attracted 19.3 million. It’s an unusual alliance, but which follows and anticipates the cultural and generational changes in American society.

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