Satirical, comedic “The Onion” and its commercial affiliate, “Onion Labs” will receive the first Commitment to Excellence in New Media Award from the Chicago International Film Festival’s TV Awards at the April 22 presentation ceremony.
“The innovative means through which ‘The Onion’ presents its content, both commercial and non-commercial, have changed the way we think about media and television,” says Sam Flancher, Cinema/Chicago television coordinator.
The decision to shift “The Onion” to Chicago in July 2012 after 11 years of editorial operation in New York was “a financial decision, a way to ensure lasting financial stability,” Mike McAvoy, president/COO of Onion, Inc. said at the time.
“Additionally, Illnois’ tax incentive will allow the company to re-invest in its business, building a new studio for “The A.V. Club” and Onion News Network to produce web videos,” he said.
Its non-satirical section “The A.V. Club” was already established here in 2007 when “The Onion” consolidated eight regional sales offices in Chicago.
“The Onion” started in 1988 as a campus humor publication at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and didn’t take long to take off as a business, expanding distribution to other cities throughout the Midwest. Its New York editorial and corporate offices were opened in 2001 in order to be closer to Manhattan’s film and TV industries and comedy scenes.
As CIFF TV’s Flancher puts it, “Its transition from a dependable, hilarious print publication with a biting satirical worldview into a multifaceted multimedia force speaks to its unique adaptability.”
The Onion’s Chicago/corporate headquarters in the West Loop at 730 Franklin, houses a full-time staff of around 70 for “The Onion,” “The A.V. Club” and “clickhole” news, features and video website. To watch a recent video, click here.
Receiving awards along with “The Onion” will be Whitehouse Post, advertising legend Tom Burrell, CBS investigative reporter Jay Levine and WGN meteorologist Tom Skilling.
The reception starts at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, 633 N. St. Clair. Tickets may be purchased here.