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article imageThe Onion moving to Chicago, leaves writers ‘blindsided’

By Lynn Herrmann     Sep 22, 2011 in Business
New York - The Onion, calling itself America’s Finest News Source, is set to move its editorial team to Chicago after making New York City its home for the last decade, and the satirical paper’s decision has left some of its writers “blindsided.”
The Onion’s complete editorial operation, including print and the Onion News Network, will be moved to Chicago by next summer, a business decision which has caught the publication’s writers by surprise.
Features Editor Joe Garden discussed the announcement with Huffington Post on Wednesday. “There's no indication of what's going to happen next,” Garden said. “I don't think the writers have come to a consensus. Everybody is a little bit blindsided, and there are those who are determined to stay in New York.”
Corporate headquarters for The Onion are already located in Chicago. Although initial calls by HuffPo to Steve Hannah, company chairman and CEO, were not returned, a company spokesperson told HuffPo, “We're still in the very early stages of this process, but we're looking forward to eventually having everyone under one roof in Chicago.”
The Onion has a print readership of 3.6 million and its website attracts 7.5 million unique visitors a month, but there are signs the company could be facing financial struggles. In August, overseas readers were faced with a pay wall and a recent squabble with staff writers for “Onion News Network” has led to their joining the Writers Guild of America.
The paper’s origins date back to 1988, where it began in Madison, Wis., but is most readily identified with its New York City home. Long-known for its attention-grabbing headlines which often leave first-time viewers perplexed, the writers are apparently unimpressed with the thought of moving to Chicago.
“I can tell you that the [New York City] mayor’s office has been informed,” Garden told HuffPo.
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