Former Deadspin owner G/O Media puts The Onion up for sale: source – New York Post

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G/O Media, the struggling company that recently sold Deadspin, is shopping popular humor site The Onion and continued its fire sale by dumping two other sites Tuesday, The Post has learned.

Jim Spanfeller, G/O Media’s CEO, told stunned staffers at entertainment site The A.V. Club and food-centric site The Takeout, that the publications were sold, according to a memo obtained by The Post.

The A.V. Club was scooped up by Paste Magazine, which recently bought shuttered G/O) site Jezebel, and The Takeout has been bought by Static Media, Spanfeller said..

G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller unloaded A.V. Club and The Takeout, and is quietly shopping The Onion. Sportsfile via Getty Images

Spanfeller did not disclose the terms of the deals, but wrote the offers “included valuations that reflected a significant premium from the original purchase price of both sites.”

The Post reached out to G/O for comment.

Most of A.V.’s staff will move over to work for Paste, except for two employees, according to Spanfeller. He added that two of The Takeout’s three staffers will go to Static Media, with the third being kept by G/O.

G/O also is said to be in talks with a few suitors for The Onion, but it could not be immediately learned how far along they were in the process.

The satirical site, launched by a pair of juniors at the University of Wisconsin in 1988, gained a cult following with headlines such “Holy S—! Man Walks on F—ing Moon,” “Study Reveals: Babies are Stupid” and “Archaeological Dig Uncovers Ancient Race of Skeleton People.”

The site changed hands over the years, becoming part of former Gawker publisher Nick Denton’s Gizmodo empire, before private equity firm Great Hill Partners bought Gizmodo for an undisclosed amount in 2019 and changed the name to G/O.

G/O owns a handful of other sites including Quartz, Kotaku and The Root.

“We are always considering both acquisition opportunities as well as reviewing all inbound interest in our portfolio,” Spanfeller wrote.

G/O is quietly shopping humor site, The Onion, but it is not clear where the sale process stands.

Over the past year, Spanfeller has been purging the digital media firm’s assets — including the sale of sports site Deadspin to European start-up Lineup Publishing earlier this month. Deadspin’s entire staff was laid off.

In November, it shut down female-focused website Jezebel, laying off the site’s staff.

The company also sold its lifestyle website Lifehacker to Ziff Davis last March and laid off its staff.

“We’re not strapped for cash,” Spanfeller claimed to Axios in January.

Deadspin was recently acquired by a European startup, which said it would not be retaining any staffers from the site. Christopher Sadowski

But the CEO added that the “use by” date for private equity companies tends to be around six to 10 years. “So we’re coming up on that,” he said.

The media industry has been rocked by layoffs amid shrinking ad revenue linked to declines in web traffic related to changes in search algorithms from Google and Facebook.

This year alone, Buzzfeed, Vice Media, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, NBC News, MSNBC, Sports Illustrated and CBS News have all cut jobs.

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