The satirical paper the Onion is coming to Philadelphia on March 3, but don't expect such headlines as:
RIDE THE DUCKS SIGNS DEAL ON PENNYPACK CREEK
'ROOSEVELT BOULEVARD' RENAMED 'MILTON STREET'
The free weekly will include the Onion's national comedy material in the front pages, with its pop-culture sister publication, the A.V. Club, covering national and local arts and entertainment news in the back. There will be no Philly-zoned comedy.
Emily Guendelsberger, who last edited arts and entertainment for Philadelphia Weekly and is a former Daily News writer, starts Feb. 17 as the A.V. Club's Philly editor.
Philadelphia Media Network, publisher of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com, announced last week that it would partner with the alt-weekly-style paper.
In a novel business model, PMN will handle local ad sales and production. "We send them the basic layout for all three pieces," says Onion CEO Steve Hannah, "and they tweak the basic layout to accommodate their advertisers."
"These deals with media companies are a win-win," Hannah told me. "We get to do what we do best, and our partners do what they do best - run the business side of things in a city they know well and where they can not only leverage existing advertising relationships but attract a whole new group of advertisers." Four other papers (in Austin, Texas; Minneapolis; Madison, Wis.; and Denver) signed up last week as well.
Hannah says Philly was chosen because of the huge college and young adult population and because of the large Onion fan base.
The Onion recently launched Onion News Network on IFC and has a sports-news comedy show on Comedy Central.