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Monday, Oct 20, 2014
Offbeat Stories

No Joke!: The Onion ending last print editions


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CHICAGO — In poking fun at current events, satirical newspaper The Onion often finds a way to heap ridicule on the newspaper industry.

But just like some news outlets it lampoons, The Onion announced Friday it is ending the last of its print editions and moving to an all-online format.

Print advertising revenue has been drying up during the industry’s transition to a digital-dominated media landscape, and newspapers have been gradually scaling back or eliminating print editions entirely.

The Onion’s last print editions — in Providence, R.I., Milwaukee and the paper’s home city of Chicago — will run on Dec. 12.

Onion, Inc. President Mike McAvoy said the company’s focus in recent years has been on “growing the digital side” of the business.

“While the print edition is an important part of our history, we are very excited for the opportunities that come with prioritizing digital for even greater company growth,” McAvoy said in a statement.

Started by two students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988, the free satirical weekly has made people laugh for a quarter-century with headlines such as this one from its latest edition: “Giant burrito to solve all of Area Man’s problems for 6 precious minutes.”

The switch-over to all-digital formats will allow the company’s team of humorists to produce more timely content, increase video output and “become a better satirical representation of the current news media,” McAvoy said.

In recent years, the company has veered into video, creating the Onion News Network and working with Amazon on a TV pilot called “Onion News Empire.”

“We believe our move to an all-digital brand, alongside our content — which is funnier than ever — will position us for continued success the next 25 years,” McAvoy said.

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