The Onion bought by Spanish-language broadcaster Univision

Satirical website that describes itself as Americas finest news source will continue to be run independently under new ownership

The publisher of satirical news site the Onion has been taken over by US Spanish-language broadcaster Univision.

Univision, which runs channels aimed primarily at the USs Hispanic population, has reportedly taken a 40% controlling stake in Onion Inc, which also runs viral publishing parody site Clickhole and digital culture site the AV Club.

It also will reportedly have the option to buy the Onion outright.

Univision said Onion Inc would continue to be run independently, but will operate under the oversight of the cable network to help explore new ways of distributing Onion content.

The acquisition forms apart of Univisions attempts to reach younger audiences. In 2013 it launched a joint venture with Disney, Fusion, designed to reach younger audiences online and on TV.

Univision chief news and digital officer Isaac Lee said comedy was an incredibly engaging format for so called millennials and would play a key part in the 2016 presidential election process.

The Onion is famous for its straight-faced parodies of breaking news stories, peppered with quotes from people described as area man.

He added: The Onion has been, and continues to be, a leading force of this phenomenon of intellectual, social, cultural and satirical commentary online.

Onion Inc as part of our portfolio is a great fit for and a significant step forward in our digital strategy as we continue to expand the ways we entertain and inform millennial and multicultural audiences.

Onion Inc chief executive Mike McAvoy said: Onion Inc has remained successful by putting editorial first. Were excited to partner with Univision, a company that understands and appreciates that foundation, and that can provide additional resources, expertise, and opportunity for our talented staff.

Traditional US television companies have poured money into digital sites aimed at younger audiences in recent years. Both A+E Networks and 21st Century Fox have large stakes in Vice Media, and last year Comcasts NBCUniversal division put investments worth $200m into both BuzzFeed and Comcast.

The Onion started out in print as a weekly magazine in the 1980s, but in 2013 stopped producing a magazine to focus on digital media. In the UK, its style has been adopted by the Daily Mash, which launched in 2007.

Univision also invested in the Root, a site aimed primarily at African Americans. However, there have been reports of trouble at Fusion, with Disney understood to be considering selling its stake back to Univision.

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