For the first time since it began publishing in 1891, this issue of the Collegian will have something entirely new tucked inside its pages. Inserted into this issue is the satirical newspaper, â€œThe Onion.â€
Through a deal between the Associated Students of CSU, â€œThe Onionâ€ and Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, â€œThe Onionâ€ will be inserted as a tabloid into the Collegian every Wednesday.
â€œThe Onionâ€ staff provides all of the content in the insert, and all local advertisement sales go to RMSMC. â€œThe Onionâ€ has no control over Collegian content and the Collegian advertising department provides all local advertisement sales.
ASCSU paid the initial licensing fee, which came from student fees without a fee increase. Collegian advertisement sales will pay for all printing and production costs that go into providing â€œThe Onion.â€
â€œI think itâ€™s a great partnership with â€˜The Onionâ€™ to provide students with something they clearly want,â€ said ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg. As one of his campaign promises, Berlinberg approached RMSMC to provide â€œThe Onion.â€
The satirical newspaper is currently offered throughout Denver, as well as on campus at CU-Boulder. However, in these areas it is a stand-alone newspaper.
â€œThe Collegian is very widely know and well-liked and we didnâ€™t want to take away from that,â€ Berlinberg said. â€œWe would never want there to be competition between the Collegian and â€˜The Onionâ€™ for pickup rate.â€
In order to avoid this competition, Berlinberg made an agreement with RMSMC to provide â€œThe Onionâ€ as an insert rather than a stand-alone product.
Berlinberg said he wanted to bring â€œThe Onionâ€ to campus in order to accomplish three goals: provide students with something they wanted, provide RMSMC with an additional revenue source and increase the readership of the Collegian.
â€œIâ€™m really interested to see the pickup and see how fast the papers go,â€ Berlinberg said. â€œI wouldnâ€™t be surprised if students make it part of their morning routine to pick up Collegians.â€
Larry Steward, the president of RMSMC, agrees that providing students with the satirical newspaper will help increase the pickup of the Collegian.
â€œâ€™The Onionâ€™ has a strong national brand,â€ Steward said. â€œI think it will increase pickup rate.â€
He added that RMSMC, a non-profit organization, sees the insert as a reader service.
â€œThe benefit is really for CSU and its readers,â€ Steward said. â€œAll Iâ€™ve heard from students is very positive feedback.â€
Media experts outside of CSU agree that providing â€œThe Onionâ€ on campus is a good business move.
â€œAfter 35 years in the business I would say thatâ€™s a winner of an idea,â€ said Tim McGuire the former editor and senior vice president of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. â€œI would predict this idea is stolen.â€
McGuire, who is the Frank Russell Chair for the business of journalism at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University, said that the partnership with â€œThe Onionâ€ is a great way to provide for the Collegianâ€™s audience.
â€œItâ€™s going to increase (the Collegianâ€™s) audience and pickup rate,â€ McGuire said. â€œThere is a natural synergy there, so I think advertisers will want to be in the paper.â€
He said that this type of business arrangement is not an unusual one for newspapers â€“â€“ his paper, the Star Tribune, used to have a USA Weekly insert.
McGuire said his only concern was of a possible conflict of interest with ASCSU since the student government was involved in a deal with the paper.
However, Steward said the Collegian newsroom is in no way involved with the deal.
In order to celebrate â€œThe Onionâ€ arriving at CSU, Berlinberg said he is planning a party in September.
He plans on having a writer from â€œThe Onionâ€ speak on campus and also have an evening party in Old Town that same day.
â€œThe Onionâ€ will appear again in the Collegian on Aug. 24 and every Wednesday from then on. The deal is for one year, and Steward said it would continue next year based off of the success of â€œThe Onionâ€ on campus.
_News Editor Matt Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. _
What is the onion?
- The Onionâ€ is a satirical newspaper that was founded in 1988 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison as a student newspaper. The humorous publication, which originally targeted its local student readers, has now spread to an international audience through print, radio, broadcast and Internet outlets.
- It is published in places such as Denver, Boulder, New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Toronto.
- It will be published in the Collegian every Wednesday.