The Onion has a new owner, and it's no joke

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Inside "The Onion" Satirical Newspaper

To paraphrase The Onion: "Old media company for olds buys young media company for youths."

Spanish-language broadcast giant Univision Communications has purchased control of satirical news website The Onion and its other properties.

The deal, first reported by NPR, gives Univision 40% of the company, which includes digital media satire site Clickhole and pop culture destination The A.V. Club.

A representative for The Onion confirmed that Univision had made an investment. Univision confirmed the deal to Mashable.

The purchase might seem like an odd pairing but at its core is similar to the other recent deals in which large traditional (primarily television) media companies have bought into the digital media market. Vice Media now counts 21st Century Fox, A&E Television Networks and Disney among its investors. BuzzFeed has received major funding from NBCUniversal, Comcast and Hearst Ventures. (Mashable's funders include Time Warner Investments.)

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The Onion has a new owner, and it's no joke
SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 05: A copy of the Onion is seen in a news rack May 5, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Satirical newspaper the Onion is ceasing publication in Los Angeles and San Francisco citing low ad revenue despite an increasing circulation. The Onion, which has a circulation of 60,000 in San Francisco, will continue to publish in other markets like Chicago and New York. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 05: A pedestrian walks by an Onion news rack May 5, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Satirical newspaper the Onion is ceasing publication in Los Angeles and San Francisco citing low ad revenue despite an increasing circulation. The Onion, which has a circulation of 60,000 in San Francisco, will continue to publish in other markets like Chicago and New York. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 05: An old Onion news rack sits with other newspaper vending racks in a storage lot May 5, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Satirical newspaper the Onion is ceasing publication in Los Angeles and San Francisco citing low ad revenue despite an increasing circulation. The Onion, which has a circulation of 60,000 in San Francisco, will continue to publish in other markets like Chicago and New York. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
This screen grab taken from the The Onion's Twitter feed shows tweets reporting gunshots and hostage-taking at the Capitol in Washington on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. Capitol Police were not amused by the tweets and an article written by the satirical newspaper falsely reporting that members of Congress had taken a group of schoolchildren hostage. (AP Photo)
SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 05: A pedestrian walks by an Onion news rack May 5, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Satirical newspaper the Onion is ceasing publication in Los Angeles and San Francisco citing low ad revenue despite an increasing circulation. The Onion, which has a circulation of 60,000 in San Francisco, will continue to publish in other markets like Chicago and New York. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 05: A copy of the Onion is seen in a news rack May 5, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Satirical newspaper the Onion is ceasing publication in Los Angeles and San Francisco citing low ad revenue despite an increasing circulation. The Onion, which has a circulation of 60,000 in San Francisco, will continue to publish in other markets like Chicago and New York. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 05: A copy of the Onion is seen in a news rack May 5, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Satirical newspaper the Onion is ceasing publication in Los Angeles and San Francisco citing low ad revenue despite an increasing circulation. The Onion, which has a circulation of 60,000 in San Francisco, will continue to publish in other markets like Chicago and New York. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Univision's addition of The Onion follows on other investments in digital media including its acquisition of The Root, a news site geared toward African Americans, as well as its considerable stake in Fusion, the television/digital hybrid that it founded with Disney. There have been reports that Disney could end up selling its stake in Fusion to Univision.

Onion CEO Mike McAvoy confirmed the news in a memo sent to employees, noting that Univision would provide the ability to try some new things.

"Univision is excited to help Onion Inc. grow, and to provide the resources to both support our long-standing mission and fund new initiatives. They'll help us keep the foundation strong and to build great new things on top of it," McAvoy wrote. "As an independent media company, we've always been forced to run a tight financial ship, which has made us smart and lean, but not always ready to invest in the great new ideas that we come up with. I'm excited to see what we can do with Univision behind us."

The Onion had been seeking a buyer for more than a year.

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