The Onion Newspaper — self-billed as “America's Finest News Source” — is proof positive that, in this business, “quality” is no guarantee against failure. The paper's Chicago corporate office today released a statement confirming Web reports that the San Francisco and Los Angeles print editions have gone the way of the dodo. From the statement:
So, at the end of the day, you have to make a decision whether to pump money into parts of the company that are straining us financially (LA and SF print) or reroute that capital into the areas of the company that are growing in size and value.
We chose the latter.
The company claims readership had actually increased in San Francisco and L.A. despite a cut in the paper's press run — but it opted to pull the plug due to “abysmal” advertising. Glancing at the April 30 edition — and working in this business — this comes as no surprise: the latest Onion is only 24 pages long, features a full-page, color house ad on the lucrative back cover (never a good sign) and, overall, has an alarmingly low ad count.
Anyone who's ever perused the Onion compendium Our Dumb Century can attest that, while the articles are hit-or-miss, the look and feel of the newspapers through the ages is stirringly spot-on. Sadly, today's announcement confirms that the same is true in the present day.
Click the jump for the Onion's full statement: