The E.W Scripps Company has acquired multi-platform humor brand Cracked from Demand Media for $39 million in cash.
In a release announcing the sale today, Scripps said Cracked had revenue in 2015 of approximately $11 million and was profitable, but in years past Demand Media’s claims of profitability have been called into question.
Cracked began life in 1958 as a youth-targeting humor magazine designed to compete with Mad Magazine. It ceased print publication in 2007, the same year it was purchased by Demand. Today, it targets millennial audiences through its website, mobile apps, original digital video, social media and a podcast.
The Cracked YouTube channel, featuring such shows as “After Hours,” “Honest Ads,” “The Spit Take” and “Obsessive Pop Culture Disorder,” has racked up more than 1.125 million subscribers and 328 million views.
The Cracked team will continue to operate out of its Santa Monica offices and be led by Mandy Ng Rusin, general manager and vice president, and Jack O’Brien, vice president and editor-in-chief.
“Cracked is the expert in using clever humor to engage a younger audience that is very loyal to its brand,” said Rich Boehne, chairman, president and CEO of Scripps, in a statement. “Its editorial vision brings a fresh perspective to the way the next generation creates and consumes news, information and entertainment.”
Scripps is one of the nation’s largest independent TV and radio station owners, with 33 television stations in 24 markets and 34 radio stations in eight markets.
Cracked joins a portfolio of Scripps digital properties that includes podcast specialists Midroll Media, purchased in 2015, and OTT brand Newsy, which is available on platforms including Sling TV and Apple TV.