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With L.A., Onion adds another layer

Times Staff Writer

The Onion is coming to the streets of Los Angeles. On Thursday, more than 50,000 copies of the free weekly newspaper -- known for its satirical news coverage and parodies -- will begin appearing in news racks throughout the city.

The arrival marks the latest expansion of the publication, which is distributed in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Denver, the Twin Cities and Madison, Wis., according to Sean Mills, Onion president. With its new Los Angeles edition, the paper will have an overall circulation of 549,000, he said.

“This means we’re going to have a significant presence within the city, and L.A. has been on our list for some time,” Mills said.

Although the weekly’s trademark comedy and entertainment stories do not vary from city to city, a third section -- dealing with movies, plays and other weekly entertainment choices -- will be unique to Los Angeles, he added.

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There will be 1,000 initial retail distribution locations, including music stores, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and gyms, as well as 100 street box locations scattered throughout heavily traveled pedestrian areas. Readers can expect to find the weekly in Hollywood, Echo Park, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Santa Monica, Venice and in the areas around UCLA and USC.

Publishers expect the weekly’s circulation in Los Angeles to increase 30% per year for the next three to five years.

While the Onion is currently available online -- and Los Angeles is a big source of the website’s traffic -- the paper’s physical availability here “is important to us, because it will allow us to become a bigger part of the culture of Southern California,” Mills said.


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