America’s finest news source is jumping on the podcast bandwagon.
The Onion, the satirical news brand owned by G/O Media, inked a partnership with Sony Music Entertainment to create original podcasts. The first project is “The Topical,” a new daily podcast (seemingly a spoof of the New York Times’ popular “The Daily”) focused on current events, which is slated to launch in January 2020.
Under the pact, the Onion will oversee all creative aspects of the podcast, including writing, production and recording. UTA represented The Onion in the agreement.
“The Onion is thrilled to have found a stalwart ally in Sony Music Entertainment to help it dominate yet another medium in the world of journalism,” Jordan LaFlure, executive editor at The Onion, said in a prepared statement. “A daily news podcast provides an opportunity for The Onion to access and inform billions of presumably illiterate people previously deprived of the finest reporting the world has ever known.”
The Onion previously dipped its toe in the podcasting waters with “A Very Fatal Murder,” a lampoon of the true-crime genre (which is enormously popular in the podcast world). Season 2 of the series launched on Luminary earlier this year.
For Sony Music, the Onion partnership is the latest move to capitalize on the continuing surge in podcast listening. The music company teamed up earlier this year with producers Adam Davidson and Laura Mayer to form Brooklyn-based Three Uncanny Four Productions and recently announced a deal with U.K.-based producer Renay Richardson for podcast joint venture Broccoli Content.
“The Onion is synonymous with great topical and cultural satire and we are thrilled to be working with them to further expand their presence in podcasting,” said Tom Mackay, president of film and TV A&R for Sony Music.
Added Oren Rosenbaum, UTA’s head of emerging platforms, “We found the perfect partner in Sony Music Entertainment and are confident in our shared vision. Also, the fact that The Onion will now have its own daily news podcast literally brings tears to my eyes.”
Private-equity backed G/O Media bought Chicago-based Onion Inc., along with sites formerly housed under the Gizmodo Media Group, in a deal with Univision in April 2019. Employees of the acquired properties have clashed with the new owners, most publicly when the entire Deadspin editorial team quit last week in protest over G/O Media’s insistence that the site limit coverage to sports — a directive triggered by Deadspin staffers writing articles critical of the parent company.