This Just In: Print Not Dead (Yet)

The Onion wasn't as crazy-pricey as first thought and there's hope for newspapers yet.

Good news! Print isn't dead after all, or at least not yet.

Univision in January announced it was buying a stake in the parent of the Onion, a satirical news site, as it seeks to tap into more millennial eyeballs. Reporting at the time indicated the price tag for a stake of about 40 percent was in the range of $200 million -- which we noted would have implied a valuation for the entire company that was twice what Jeff Bezos paid for the Washington Post in 2013. Well, Univision said on an earnings call this week that the price was more like $27 million. That means the valuation for the Onion's parent company is about $67 million.

Stacking Up

A survey of recent newspaper deals yields few blockbuster price tags.

Source: Bloomberg

Chalk that up as a win for old-school newspapers. As it turns out, storied institutions like the Washington Post can still command more from buyers than a website whose headlines on Friday included ``Family Has Strict No Smartphone Rule While Eating Dinner In Front of TV." Although on the other hand, the reported number does put the Onion's valuation in line with the $70 million that the Boston Globe and affiliated assets fetched in its 2013 sale.

Guess the fate of print is still up in the air.

Bad Circulation

With the exception of Gannett, publicly traded newspaper companies have delivered lackluster returns.

Source: Bloomberg


This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

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    Brooke Sutherland in New York at

    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    Beth Williams at

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