BuzzFeed News broke the story last night, reporting that ClickHole’s employees will become the majority owners of the site. Cards Against Humanity founder Max Temkin told BuzzFeed that the goal is to give the ClickHole team “a chance to do their own thing,” with the resources to expand beyond the current five-person team.
“We’re giving them funding, and if they ask us, we’ll be an advisor,” Temkin said.
ClickHole launched in 2014 as part of The Onion, with a focus on parodying the kind of viral content that you’d find on sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy (it published the greatest diet guide of all time).
The Onion was acquired by Univision, which then acquired a number of Gawker Media properties (but not Gawker itself) and rebranded them as the Gizmodo Media Group. Univision sold both organizations to private equity firm Great Hill Partners last year, which gave them yet another name: G/O Media.
Things haven’t gotten noticeably smoother since then, with G/O Media executives shutting down the political site Splinter, followed by Deadspin editors and writers resigning en masse after a clash over the direction of the site, particularly a directive to stick to sports-related content.
We’ve reached out to both G/O Media and Cards Against Humanity for additional comment. Before the news broke yesterday, ClickHole published a story declaring, “Our Computer Has Become Infested With Crickets And ClickHole Is Temporarily Going On Standby.”
Update: Temkin provided the following statement:
ClickHole has accumulated this once-in-a-generation team of comedy talent. We’re not going to tell them how to run their business. Our goal is just to give them every creative tool that we have.