That's right, the folks who run The Onion have come up with an exciting new concept (and this is no joke): franchising!
Road to riches.
Now, for the cost of a modest licensing fee, YOU can join forces with the beloved satirical news source and publish their print product right here in Seattle. They'll send you the content; all you have to do is print the thing, sell the ads, and stuff the newsboxes. And no experience is required!
In fact, as Onion CEO Steve Hannah tells a wildly enthusiastic reporter at the Columbia Journalism Review, the Onion folks "love the idea of launching new cities with a couple people who are fresh out of school."Indeed you would probably need to be fresh out of school to be credulous enough to take them up on their offer. Because essentially what The Onion is proposing is that you attempt to succeed in a business where they themselves have already failed.
A year and a half ago, The Onion abandoned the two West Coast cities where it was distributing a free print version of its paper--SF and LA--because it couldn't make any money. Now they're suggesting that you launch the same venture, except this time with no risk to The Onion. They just pocket the franchise fee.
Still...It's The Onion! How cool is that? And they're definitely interested in Seattle. Reports the Journalism Review:
According to [Onion] COO Michael McAvoy, the most appealing markets for print expansion [include] large state capitals where theonion.com already gets a lot of web traffic (places like Seattle, Portland, and Columbus).