In addition to campus humor publications The Every Three Weekly and The Gargoyle, students will soon have the opportunity to leaf through the pages of the nationally renowned satirical paper The Onion as it begins distribution in the city of Ann Arbor this fall.
Founded in Madison, Wisconsin in the 1980s, The Onion is a humorous news source that covers local, national and international issues, as well as entertainment news in its non-satirical section called The A.V. Club. University alum Bobby Mitchell said he plans to distribute The Onion with the help of his Chicago-based distribution company — Bopper Media Inc. — adding he decided to bring the paper to Ann Arbor because he thinks the town has an audience that will appreciate its humor.
“Ann Arbor has the most perfect market for The Onion based on where it is now, the people who read it and the community as a whole,” Mitchell said.
Living and working in Chicago, Mitchell said he was exited to bring an office to Ann Arbor that would cover local and national news, adding he would eventually like to distribute to Ypsilanti and the greater Detroit area.
The Onion is currently distributed in fourteen cities across the country and is continuing to expand. Mitchell said the similarities between the founding city of Madison and Ann Arbor make it an easy choice as a new venture for the publication.
“There are a lot of similarities between Madison and Ann Arbor — they are both college towns and the people must be relatively intelligent to understand the humor,” he said.
Bopper Media Inc. will print and distribute the paper, which will provide local stories and humor that will be featured in the entertainment section. Mitchell said circulating the newspaper in new places like Ann Arbor brings a fresh, new comedic side of print to the hands of the masses.
Carrie Palmer, director of franchising for The Onion, said their roots are in print media and they have been long anticipating distribution to Ann Arbor residents.
“Ann Arbor is a perfect fit,” Palmer said. “We always wanted to be in Ann Arbor — a great college town and a fantastic community.”
Palmer added she believes the paper is expected to receive a warm welcome by the educated and sophisticated Michigan students and surrounding residents who will appreciate its humor.
“The young, educated and soon-to-be affluent demographic … is smart enough to get our humor,” she said. “This demographic, both on and off campus, fits our brand perfectly. We are extremely excited to finally bring our paper here.”
Through the partnership with Bopper Media Inc., the satirical news source will distribute 20,000 papers weekly starting after Labor Day weekend, Palmer said.
Anne Finn, public relations manager for The Onion, echoed the sentiments of Mitchell and Palmer that it is important for their publication to expand and that Ann Arbor seemed to be a natural fit.
“The Onion’s ongoing print expansion is a testament to our content,” Finn said. “Over the last year, we’ve introduced the newspaper to new markets throughout the U.S. as well as in Toronto, Canada. Finding the right partner is always key, and we are thrilled to now have a presence in Ann Arbor.”