The Onion Peels a Few Skins


Apologies for that
headline, we think an intern wrote it…


By Fred Mills


We don’t have to tell you that the world of print media is
pretty fucked right now (which is why BLURT, after almost a year of publishing
digitally, decided to re-enter the print world a month or so ago – we’re pretty
fucked in our collective head, so the fit is good). Although in the case of
some publications such as Relix,
about to go under but then getting an 11-th hour reprieve this week, are still
hanging in there, others, such as Blender,
which recently flamed out in a grand explosion of hubris and bad finances, are
now dead. Ex-publications. Pushing up daisies. Singing with the choir


Today’s canary-in-the-coalmine moment arrives courtesy of
venerable satire rag The Onion, who
released a statement this morning indicating it was discontinuing publication
of its San Francisco and Los Angeles editions. Citing nosediving ad revenue,
the Chicago-based company announced that this week’s editions would be the last
in both cities.


According to The Onion, “In both Los Angeles and San
Francisco readership has actually risen despite our
reduction in copies in recent months [but] the advertising in both cities has
been abysmal. This stands in stark contrast to other parts of our
business–both the majority of our print markets (Milwaukee,
Madison, Minneapolis,
Denver, Boulder,
for example) as well as our rapidly growing digital enterprises (,, the Onion News Network and–which are growing nicely
and in some cases dramatically…. We have no plans at this time to cease
publication in any of our other markets.”


The latter comment may be true, but it’s actually hard to imagine how the
cited markets could prove stronger than population/media centers like San Fran
and L.A., so to all the readers in those markets – don’t hold your breath.


Of course, anyone who keeps up with The
lately knows that they’ve really been hitting their stride in the
visual medium. As good as the written jollies can be, some of the content on
ONN (the Onion News Network) ranks alongside the website’s
videos as among the funniest on the web – like THIS report on the new Star Trek movie (hint: watch for the
vintage Kirk-alien clip). So we trust that in one form or another, the folks
there will continue to thrive.




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