The Onion rolls into town with new Philly edition
March 3, 2011By Peter Crimmins
The newspaper famous for exaggeration and lies is launching in Philadelphia. The Onion, a satirical humor paper distributed online in 10 cities across the country, will be published by the Inquirer's parent company -- Philadelphia Media Network.
PMN will own the business end and the Onion will own the content, including headlines such as "Al-Qaida Recruiting Suicide Bombers with Promise of Halfway Decent Job in Afterlife."
Onion president Steve Hannah has a similar sense of hyperbole.
"Satire is a great source of the truth. I believe that 100 percent," said Hannah. "Philadelphia will finally have America's finest news source and probably get closer to the truth than they've ever been before."
In a media landscape where print publications are struggling, the Onion is an amusing anachronism. Local editions of the paper are published in10 cities around the country with 2 million weekly readers. It's begun a 40,000 circulation run here.
"There can't be many people who do the same thing," said Greg Osberg, CEO of Philadelphia Media Network. "There are only so many publications that can be fictional in the print world that are successful."
The Onion has a niche audience. Hannah said he's targeting young, urban and educated people -- who drink a lot.