LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Co. is looking for someone to take money-losing Fusion Media off its hands. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Disney is looking to sell its stake in Fusion, a digital news conglomerate that also includes a cable TV network that it created as part of a joint venture with Spanish-language media behemoth Univision.
One possibility being discussed is Disney selling its stake to Univision, although that's not the only option under consideration.
Disney's stock has dipped in recent months despite the success of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," as the company faces tough questions about its TV and media properties in the era of cord-cutting. But Disney hasn't been looking to get out of digital media; in fact, just this month the company bumped its ownership stake in Vice Media to 10 percent, valuing the hipster news network at $4 billion.
It's not clear how much Disney's stake in Fusion might be worth. Univision's July S-1 filing shed some light on Fusion's finances, showing the company lost more than $60 million over 2013 and 2014. Univision had invested about $38 million in the company to that point, and Disney's total contribution is thought to be similar. And a June Gawker post acidly revealed the size of Fusion's digital audience.
Fusion — which was launched in late 2013 to serve millennials but is yet to really find a niche — has an eclectic mix of properties, including the venerable ABC newscast "Nightline" to "The Dan Le Batard Show," a sports radio broadcast. On its cable network there's everything from a news show about the marijuana business to soccer commentary to sketch comedy. And despite Univision's role, everything is in English.
The network has clearly spent money on talent: Jorge Ramos, probably the highest-profile Spanish-language anchor working in the U.S. — and who was introduced to a new audience through his spat with Donald Trump earlier this year — hosts an English-language newscast on Fusion's cable channel, and popular former Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon is a senior editor and contributes articles to its website.