'Onion' CEO To Head Ad Sales For Fusion Media Group

As part of the planned staff cuts and restructuring of Fusion, parent company Univision has named The Onionpresident and CEO Mike McAvoy as head of ad sales and revenue for the Fusion Media Group portfolio.

Fusion Media Group, which includes properties such as Fusion, The Onion and The Root, were combined with Gawker Media’s digital brands acquired by Univision. They were renamed Gizmodo Media Group.

The $135 million acquisition did not include flagship site Gawker, which was shut down in August, but includes Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker and Kotaku.

According to a memo from Isaac Lee, Univision's digital, entertainment and news chief, Univision began centralizing its digital revenue and ad sales efforts across all its English-language brands last month. Now, McAvoy will oversee these efforts, as well as continue to serve as CEO of The Onion.

According to a report from Ad Age, Fusion Media Group will sell as one team, though brands will also still be able to advertise with specific companies in the portfolio.



McAvoy suggested to Ad Age that Fusion Media Group will look into ecommerce as a new revenue stream for its brands. He will also oversee programmatic sales and branded content efforts.

This spring, Fusion hired Jason Wagenheim to lead ad sales and revenue as SVP of brand partnerships. But this month, he left the company for a position as Bustle's Chief Revenue Officer.

As part of the restructuring, Wagenheim's position at Fusion will not be filled.

This week, Univision announced its plan to lay off nearly 6% of its workforce, or up to 250 people. Fusion will be most affected by the decision.

Univision reportedly suffered a third-quarter loss of $30.5 million, or an 8% decline in revenue. Isaac Lee, Univision's digital, entertainment and news chief, said Gizmodo Media Group staffers would not be affected by the layoffs.

Lee added that Fusion will increase its focus on social justice issues and strive to be "a hub” for investigative work.

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