Humor website Cracked has been purchased for $39 million by E.W. Scripps

Cracked website sold for 39 million dollars

The E.W. Scripps Co. has announced the purchase of humor brand Cracked from Demand Media. The humor platform was acquired for $39 million.

“We always look for brands that have an eye toward high quality,” said Scripps Chief Digital Officer Adam Symson. “So Cracked really fit the bill for us.”

Cracked magazine launched in 1958 as a competitor to Mad magazine but dropped its print edition in 2007 in favor of a digital first approach.

Demand Media CEO Sean Moriarty said Scripps “reached out to us” about potentially acquiring Cracked. “The more we had conversations with Scripps, the more both parties agreed that it made sense to explore a transaction …”

The deal was hammered out in only a few short months.

Symson says the metrics at are very strong with users spending an average of 8 minutes per visit on the platform while delivering 50% of its traffic from direct users.

Those are some great loyalty numbers for a platform that delivered 8 million U.S. multi-platform uniques in February, a 12% year-over-year increase, according to ComScore.

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E.W. Scripps plans to accelerate Cracked’s development of video and audio content which can be delivered to over-the-top services.

Other E.W. Scripps portals including Midroll and Newsy, among others.

The acquisition includes moving the current Cracked leadership team over to E.W. Scripps.

“We intend for this business to be in high-growth mode, and we’ll support it with whatever it needs in order for it to be a contender for a large audience and a large payback down the road,” Mr. Symson said.

Demand Media, which also owns, Livestrong, and various other properties, purchased Cracked in 2007 for less than $1 million.

Written by John Howard

John Howard

John Howard is the Business Editor at He is an avid watcher of markets, a wallflower of retail, and a fan of disruptive businesses that utilize technology and unique ideas to form brilliant new ways of doing business.