The Onion's New Owners Pay Tribute To Site's Satirical Past In A Totally Real Way


The Onion has a new owner and the buyer’s name reads like it’s straight from one of the site’s articles.

Chicago-based firm Global Tetrahedron — which shares a name with a mock corporation that served as a long-running gag on the satirical news site and was featured in its staffers’ 1999 book “Our Dumb Century”— has purchased The Onion.

G/O Media, which owned The Onion since 2019, sold the site after recently saying goodbye to other properties such as The A.V. Club and Deadspin.

Global Tetrahedron is composed of four “digital media veterans” who have “a profound love for The Onion and comedy-based content,” wrote G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller in a memo that was first reported on by The New York Times’ Katie Robertson.

The firm, according to a tongue-in-cheek section on its website, is “committed to control in all its forms” and describes itself as “pragmatic, focused, bloodthirsty, and fanatical.”

Spanfeller noted that the new owners agreed to keep The Onion’s staff “intact” and in Chicago, something that G/O Media insisted be part of its deal.

The firm is owned by ex-Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson, according to the Times, while its CEO is Ben Collins, a former NBC News senior reporter.

Collins, in a post Thursday on X (formerly Twitter), wrote that the new owners are “bringing back” The Onion News Network and will “share the wealth” with staff.

“Basically, we’re going to let them do whatever they want. Get excited,” Collins wrote.

The deal’s financial terms were not disclosed.

The Onion began as a weekly newspaper in 1988 before the launch of its website.

Lawson told the Times that the world needs laughter and satirical criticism “more than ever.”

“And that’s why we think this is the right time and the right way to help The Onion continue to grow, continue to flourish, and frankly I’m concerned if we hadn’t done this, I don’t know what would have happened,” he said.

  • 2024-05-02
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