The Onion's Paywall Is Coming

In your ferocious Friday media column: The Onion won't be free online forever, the Brits call for Piers Morgan, celebrity magazine circulation plummets, WaPo Co. revenue drops, and the New York Observer's back to broadsheet, baby.

  • Whoa, even The Onion is rolling out a paywall! It only affects dirty foreigners at the moment, but everyone knows damn well that these things always presage a domestic rollout. So get ready to pay for The Onion, or just grab it free off that box in the street, if you live in one of America's finer urban areas. In point of fact, The Onion and the New York Times are America's two best newspapers, so we're not too mad about their paywalls. And uh... something funny here.
  • British elected officials are calling for Piers Morgan to come and testify to Parliament about what, if any, involvement he had in phone hacking when he was editor of The Mirror. Piers Morgan is keeping his mouth shut on the invitation so far, although CNN prez Ken Jautz says the network is still supporting him. If Piers Morgan was smart he would move to Borneo. I hear it's nice, and quiet.
  • First half magazine circulation numbers, huzzah! Let's give you the very short version, shall we? No humongous winners, although Ebony and Time's numbers look encouraging; and big huge losers include every celebrity magazine. Wow! They are not doing well, in terms of people reading them. Is this Twitter's fault? Yes, as usual.
  • Also, Washington Post Co. earnings for the second quarter were down by half compared to a year ago. Since all the company's money comes from its Kaplan educational hustle division, this tells us nothing about the WaPo itself, except that newspapers are still dying.
  • The New York Observer is switching from its current tabloid format back to broadsheet! "Mini-broadsheet," to be specific. The New York Observer will be printed on Bazooka Joe gum wrappers, going forward. Everybody knows broadsheets are more stylistic, so good for them.
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