Univision Communications Inc. has formally initiated the process of exploring the sale of Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion, the company announced today. Selling the companies would allow UCI to “focus on its core assets” while giving each media company the chance to “grow under new ownership,” Univision said.
Rumors have swirled recently about a possible sale, after layoffs and departures from high-level employees. Univision executives reiterated in May that the company was going through a “business review,” cutting costs and laying off employees.
In April, Gizmodo Media Group’s CEO, Raju Narisetti, announced he was stepping down, and about two weeks ago, 44 Gizmodo employees took buyout packages, allowing the company to avoid layoffs, editorial director Susie Banikarim told employees at the time.
Gizmodo Media Group, formerly Gawker Media, now includes titles such as Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Splinter, The Root, Kotaku, Earther and Jalopnik. The Onion’s portfolio includes The Onion, Clickhole, The A.V. Club and The Takeout.
Morgan Stanley will serve as financial advisor in the process, according to UCI.
“There is no assurance that the process to explore the sale of these assets will result in any transaction or the adoption of any other strategic alternative,” the company said in a statement.
Former flagship website, Gawker.com, was shut down days after Univision acquired the other properties in a bankruptcy auction. The website and its assets are expected to go up for auction later this week.