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Strange bedfellows: Pioneer Press partners with … the Onion?

Look, I like Bulletin Board as much as the next guy, and Opinuendo gets off a good one every once in awhile, but the Pioneer Press partnering with … the Onion?

Don’t worry; Joe Soucheray won’t be reviewing the latest Pink Mink mp3, and we really, really hope that Bob Sansevere won’t be treating us to his wittiness in another publication.

According to the employee memo (below), the PiPress’s corporate entity, Northwest Publications, will run the parody paper’s Twin Cities business operations, including sales, production and distribution.

In other words, no Onion editorial employee will be harmed in the making of this move.

The title gives the PiPress a vaguely sales opportunity, while perking up printing presses that have been, shall we say, underutilized during the newspaper industry’s decline. Meanwhile, the Onion, which has shuttered some print editions during the recession, hopefully saves a few bucks.

PiPress publisher Guy Gilmore talks about expanding his paper’s reach among younger readers; Onion boss Steve Hannah wisecracks that the PiPress, “Stands for journalistic excellence and integrity. Just like us, only slightly different.”

Enjoy your memo of Zen:

Northwest Publications, publisher of the Pioneer Press, has signed a partnership agreement with The Onion to run business operations for the Twin Cities print edition of the satirical weekly publication.

Beginning with The Onion’s Nov. 18 issue, the Pioneer Press will assume local advertising sales, production and distribution for the weekly and its pop culture-focused sister publication, the A.V. Club.

The Onion’s editorial staff will continue to produce content. The Onion began in 1988 in Madison, Wis., and has grown to a national publication with 1.8 million print readers and 10 million online readers each week.

The Twin Cities is one of eight markets nationwide with a print edition of The Onion. About 40,000 copies are circulated each week from 1,500 Twin Cities locations, including high-traffic street boxes, bookstores, music venues, restaurants, nightclubs, cafes and retailers. The Pioneer Press partnership is among a series of similar agreements in The Onion’s print markets. The first such partnership was established in June with the Chicago Tribune Media Group.

“With The Onion in its product portfolio, the Pioneer Press will expand its reach, especially among younger readers metro-wide. That means more advantages and more results for our advertisers,” says Pioneer Press Publisher Guy Gilmore.

“Minneapolis-St. Paul is our target market in spades — young, intelligent, cool, tech-savvy, relentlessly social, perpetually thirsty people who count on The Onion and A.V. Club to provide a unique perspective on the news and pop culture that matters,” said Steve Hannah, president and CEO of The Onion. “Plus, The St. Paul Pioneer Press has a storied history in the Twin Cities. It stands for journalistic excellence and integrity. Just like us, only slightly different.”

The Pioneer Press and are the media leader in the Twin Cities’ East Metro market, reaching 2.5 million users each month with their full range of media products. The total includes the Pioneer Press,, magazines, social media and mobile updates.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Tim Walker on 10/21/2010 - 04:09 pm.

    Strange bedfellows indeed!

  2. Submitted by Chuck Lennon on 10/22/2010 - 09:17 am.

    Sure would like to see how stacks up against these outlets!

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