Is Univision Stuck With Digital Dud Gizmodo?


MIAMI — It appears the buying and selling of radio stations, something Univision Radio is said to still be considering despite numerous reports that recently installed CEO Vince Sadusky is high on the medium, isn’t the only thing being chatted about over cafecito and a dulce de guayaba at the many Cuban eateries across South Florida.

Univision’s Gizmodo Media Group, which is very much on the market, apparently lacks a suitable suitor.

That’s according to unnamed sources who are chatting with Alexandra Steigrad at America’s favorite tabloid, the New York Post.

Steigrad’s been on the media beat for the Post since December 2017, when she joined the publication following a 9 1/2-year stint at fashion publication WWD.

Sources she trusts are saying that Gizmodo, “the money-losing operator” of such digital news sites and blogs as Jezebel, Deadspin and The Onion are “still struggling to find a buyer” some six months after Hispanic consumer-focused Univision put Gizmodo up for sale.

In early December, according to Steigrad’s sources, “more than two” suitors submitted offers in a second round of bidding that began in late November.

But, it appears they are low bids, and Univision is still fishing for a big buyer.

Univision, to the surprise of some, grabbed Gizmodo in August 2016 when it obtained the bankrup Gawker Media. It was part of a millennial play to expand beyond Hispanic-focused content driven by former Chief Content Officer Isaac Lee, who departed in mid-July.

Lee was a central figure overseeing not only Univision News and Univision Digital, but also all content including The Root, The Onion and Gizmodo Media before ascending to the joint role as UCI and Televisa in January 2017.

That connection to Gizmodo and The Onion may have come back to haunt Lee. As Radio + Television Business Report reported July 10, both Gizmodo and The Onion are on the block. There was no mention of Fusion, the English-language entity that was originally launched in partnership with The Walt Disney Company.

The GMG digital portfolio includes Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Splinter, The Root, Kotaku, Earther and Jalopnik; The Onion portfolio includes Clickhole, The A.V. Club and The Takeout.

Daniel Coronell, who succeeded Lee as President of News, continues in that role.

Steigrad says Gizmodo has annual revenue of $70 million to $80 million.

Gizmodo could potentially attract such 1/10 of that in a fire sale.

Steigrad’s sources say current bidders include Bustle Digital Group owner Bryan Goldberg. In November, Bustle acquired the website Mic for $5 million; it had been valued by investors as high as $100 million.

Others reportedly seeking Gizmodo include Penske Media, IAC and Ziff Davis.