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April 22, 2016, 12:29 p.m.
Business Models
LINK: corporate.univision.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Ricardo Bilton   |   April 22, 2016

Disney and Univision’s Fusion deal is no more. The companies said on Thursday that Univision has bought out Disney’s 50 percent stake in the millennial media brand, which they launched together in 2013. Here are a few tidbits about the move, and what Univision might have in store for Fusion.

— Fusion is now a part of Univision’s new “Fusion Media Group.” Other members of the group are the Onion properties (including AVClub, Clickhole, and Starwipe), The Root (which Univision bought last year), digital video network Flama, and El Rey.

— Fusion’s digital growth has been expensive. Fusion had $63.5 million in revenue last year and $37 million in losses, per Politico. While revenue doubled over the previous year, most of that cash came from Fusion’s TV business, which it expects to be profitable this year (though it’s still not carried by Comcast or Time Warner). The split means that Univision will take on ABC’s former role in handling distribution and ad sales.

— Disney execs were reportedly irked by Fusion’s “political tone.” While Disney’s unease over Fusion was largely a result of the venture hemorrhaging cash, Disney and Univision also clashed over the the edginess of the brand, sources told The Los Angeles Times. Fusion would likely argue that its point of view is critical to success with a young audience. With the split, Univision gets complete control over Fusion’s editorial direction.

— Univision might go public later this year and could raise as much as $1 billion, sources told Bloomberg. The company aimed for an IPO last year, but delayed the move amidst ongoing fears over the state of the TV business.

— As previously reported, Fusion has spoken with Gawker over a potential partnership. The talks could result in Spanish-language versions of Gizmodo and Lifehacker.

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