Univison recently bought Gawker, and many of its sub-properties, for a staggering $135 million. While companies are acquired everyday, what purpose does an English-only, typically mono-ethnic audience, serve to the Spanish-language broadcaster? A failed attempt with Disney/ABC to reach primarily Latino millennials with Fusion Network, a $500,000 paid journalist, and a purchased audience, spurred the Spanish broadcaster to take a step back and reconsider.
Univision—”an overvalued Spanish-language media play,” according to columnist Michael Wolff—still has the idea that the next generation will be a blend of Black, Latinx, and Asian and will embrace their bilingualism. Headed by Isaac Lee, Univision executive and former journalist, the efforts to take Univision’s missed pitches and roll them into cultural leadership, have now resulted in the purchase of Gawker, not soon after The Root and The Onion. Stroking the dreams of Univision’s stakeholders, including the Azcarraga family of Televisa, Lee has convinced everyone that Spanish will be the dominating language in this new generation.
While this could be very true, he has polished Univision’s mature audience into a new, shiny multicultural bilingual one for consumption. As the press releases and promises get ate up, it is still up for discussion as to why Gawker might be the answer to Univision’s connection problems.