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'The Onion' To Halt Decades-Long Assault On Trees

There comes a time, it seems, when even parodies must face reality. And for The Onion, that time will come in December, when the satirical news source will stop publishing print editions and shift to being all-digital.

That's the news from Milwaukee Public Radio, which calls today "a sad day for the sarcastic among us."

In addition to Milwaukee, The Onion "will also stop publishing print editions for its other remaining markets, Chicago and Providence, R.I.," WUWM's Stephanie Lecci writes. She adds, "The Onion once printed in 17 markets, according to the Business Journal of Milwaukee."

The final print issues of The Onion will be distributed on Dec. 12, marking the end of an era for the fake news organization that in 1988 began life as a newspaper in Madison, Wis.

As NPR reported in August, the company celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.

In an interview marking that occasion, Onion Inc. President Mike McAvoy told Morning Edition host Renee Montagne that "while print has taken a turn and that's no longer a profitable business for us, the rest of the company has thrived."

On its Facebook page today, The Onion posted an "In Focus" link, taking readers to a story from July with the title "Print Dead At 1,803."

The story reads:

"The influential means of communication was 1,803.

"Print, which had for nearly two millennia worked tirelessly to spread knowledge around the globe in the form of books, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and numerous other textual materials, reportedly succumbed to its long battle with ill health, leaving behind legions of readers who had for years benefited from the dissemination of ideas made possible by the advent of printed materials."

As fans of trees will surely recall, The Onion has also produced and sold popular books in recent years.

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