Even fake newspapers are having problems these days.
The Onion is closing its editions in San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to the MinnPost.com, an online newspaper in Minneapolis. The Onion, which calls itself America's Finest Newspaper, printed about 60,000 papers in the Bay Area every week, serving up fake news, real entertainment listings and local ads. It vied for the alt-weekly slice of the market, occupied by the Bay Guardian and SF Weekly.
A memo to Onion staffers from chief executive Steve Hannah said:
- Unfortunately, despite healthy readership in both Los Angeles and San Francisco (readership has actually risen despite our reduction in copies in recent months) 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 (theonion.com, avclub.com, the Onion News Network and Decider.com — which are growing nicely and in some cases dramatically.