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''The A.V. Club'' is an American
online newspaper An online newspaper is the online version of a newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background ...
and entertainment website featuring reviews, interviews, and other articles that examine films, music, television, books, games, and other elements of pop-culture media. ''The A.V. Club'' was created in 1993 as a supplement to its satirical parent publication, '' The Onion''. While it was a part of ''The Onion''s 1996 website launch, ''The A.V. Club'' had minimal presence on the website at that point. A 2005 website redesign placed ''The A.V. Club'' in a more prominent position, allowing its online identity to grow. Unlike ''The Onion'', ''The A.V. Club'' and other sites owned by G/O Media are not satirical. The publication's name is a reference to
audiovisual
audiovisual
(AV) clubs typical of American high schools.


History

In 1993, five years after the founding of ''The Onion'', Stephen Thompson, a student at the
University of Wisconsin–Madison A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an institution of higher (or tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic disciplines An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of know ...
, launched an entertainment section of the newspaper. In 1996, both ''The Onion'' and ''The A.V. Club'' debuted on the Internet. ''The A.V. Club'' was originally a subsection of the main ''theonion.com'' domain name. The supplement was moved to its own domain name, ''theavclub.com'', before the 2005 acquisition of the shorter ''avclub.com'' domain name. The latter change coincided with a redesign that incorporated reader comments and blog content. In 2006, the website shifted its content model again to add content on a daily, rather than weekly, basis. Some contributors have become established as freelance writers and editors. In December 2004, Stephen Thompson left his position as founding editor of ''The A.V. Club''. According to Sean Mills, then-president of ''The Onion,'' the ''A.V. Club'' website first reached more than 1 million unique visitors in October 2007.David Shankbone (24 November 2007). "An interview with 'America's Finest News Source'", '' Wikinews'' In late 2009, the website was reported to have received more than 1.4 million unique visitors and 75,000 comments per month. At its peak, the print version of ''The A.V. Club'' was available in 17 different cities. Localized sections of the website were also maintained, with reviews and news relevant to specific cities. The print version and localized websites were gradually discontinued, and in December 2013, print publication ceased production in the last three markets.


2012–2014 staff departures

On 13 December 2012, long-time writer and editor Keith Phipps, who oversaw the website after Stephen Thompson left, stepped down from his role as editor of ''The A.V. Club''. He said, "''Onion, Inc.'' and I have come to a mutual parting of the ways."Goodybyes & Hellos
''Untitled Keith Phipps Project'', 13 December 2012
Keith Phipps is no longer editor of ''The A.V. Club''
''The A.V. Club'', 14 December 2012
Editor Keith Phipps Leaves ''The A.V. Club''
''Criticwire'', 13 December 2012
On 2 April 2013, long-time film editor and critic Scott Tobias stepped down as film editor of ''The A.V. Club''. He said via
Twitter Twitter is an American microblogging and social networking service, social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as "tweets". Registered users can post, like and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can onl ...

Twitter
, "After 15 great years @theavclub, I step down as Film Editor next Friday.""Scott Tobias Leaves A.V. Club, Site Looking For a New Film Editor"
''Criticwire'', 2 April 2013
On 26 April 2013, long-time writers Nathan Rabin, Tasha Robinson, and Genevieve Koski announced they would also be leaving the website to begin work on a new project with Scott Tobias and Keith Phipps.An Update from the AV Club
''The AV Club'' 26 April 2013
Koski also said that she would continue to write freelance articles. Writer Noel Murray announced he would be joining their new project, but would also continue to contribute to ''The A.V. Club'' in a reduced capacity. On 30 May 2013, those six writers were announced as becoming part of the senior staff of '' The Dissolve'', a film website run by Pitchfork Media. In April and June 2014, senior staff writers Kyle Ryan, Sonia Saraiya, and Emily VanDerWerff left the website for positions at ''Entertainment Weekly'', ''Salon (website), Salon'', and Vox Media, respectively. In 2015, Ryan returned to ''Onion, Inc.'' for a position in development. Following his departure from ''The Dissolve'' earlier that month, Nathan Rabin returned to write freelance for the ''A.V. Club'' website in May 2015. He renewed his regular colum
"My World of Flops"
''The Dissolve'' folded in July 2015.


Television series

On 16 February 2017, ''The A.V. Club'''s editor-at-large, John Teti, posted an article on the website announcing the upcoming release of a television series, titled ''The A.V. Club'', based on the website. The series, hosted by Teti, began airing on Fusion TV, Fusion on 16 March 2017 and ran for one season. The series featured news, criticism, and discussions about various popular-culture topics and featured staff members from the website.


Move to Univision, then G/O Media

In January 2016, Univision Communications acquired "a 40 percent, controlling stake" in Onion Inc., the parent company of ''The A.V. Club''. Later that year, Univision also purchased Gawker Media and reorganized several of Gawker's sites into the new Gizmodo Media Group, a division of Fusion Media Group. In November 2017, due to the community's expanding membership and an increasing volume of original content, ''The A.V. Club'' offshoot website ''After Dark'' was switched from Disqus to a separate WordPress site and rebranded as ''The Avocado''. The site was subsequently migrated from Bulbs, an internal content management system developed by Onion Inc. to the Gawker-developed Kinja (website), Kinja platform. It deleted the comment section and audience reviews hosted on the previous site. In July 2018, Univision announced it was looking for a buyer for the entire Gizmodo Group. In April 2019, Gizmodo and ''The Onion'' were sold to private-equity firm Great Hill Partners, which combined them into a new company named G/O Media. In July 2019, executive editor Laura M. Browning and managing editor Caitlin PenzeyMoog left. In early 2020, former People (magazine), ''People'' magazine and ''Entertainment Weekly'' editor Patrick Gomez was to be named editor-in-chief, and the site was opening a Los Angeles bureau.


Onion Inc. Union

In March 2018 the employees of the company announced they had unionized with the Writers Guild Of America, East. The union comprises "all of the creative staffs at Onion Inc.: ''The A.V. Club'', ''The Onion'', ''ClickHole'', ''The Takeout'', Onion Labs, and Onion Inc.’s video and art departments." (''ClickHole'' was subsequently acquired by Cards Against Humanity in February 2020.) The union was recognized on 20 April 2018 and reached a contract agreement with management on 20 December 2018. The contract includes "annual pay increases, minimum pay grades, strong diversity and anti-harassment language, just cause, union security, editorial independence, intellectual property rights, and an end to permalancers."


Controversy

On 9 December 2010, the website ''ComicsComicsMag'' revealed a capsule review for the book ''Genius, Isolated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth'' had been fabricated. The book had not yet been published nor even completed by the authors. After the review was removed, editor Keith Phipps posted an apology on the website, stating that the reporter assigned the review could not locate a copy of the book ("for obvious reasons"), so fabricated it. Leonard Pierce, the author of the review, was terminated from his freelance role with the website.


Books

* ''The Tenacity Of The Cockroach: Conversations With Entertainment's Most Enduring Outsiders'' (2002, ) is a collection of 68 interviews featured in previous issues. * ''Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone, and 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Lists'' (2009, ) is a combination of never-before-published lists and material already available on the ''A.V. Club'' website. * ''My Year of Flops: The A.V. Club Presents One Man's Journey Deep into the Heart of Cinematic Failure'' (2010, ) consists of entries taken from the website's ''My Year of Flops'' column by Nathan Rabin, along with new material not previously available. It is the first ''A.V. Club'' release credited to a single author. * ''Monsters Of The Week: The Complete Critical Companion To The X-Files'' (2018, ) is a collection of the ''X-Files'' episode recaps written by ''A.V. Club'' contributor Zack Handlen and former ''A.V. Club'' TV editor Emily VanDerWerff. In addition to ''The A.V. Club'' recaps, the book includes ''X-Files'' cast and writer interviews, illustrations from Patrick Leger, and a foreword by ''X-Files'' creator Chris Carter (screenwriter), Chris Carter.


Awards

In 2017, ''The A.V. Club'' won an Eisner Award for "Best Comics-related Periodical/Journalism" (for works published in 2016). The award went to writers Oliver Sava, Caitlin Rosberg, Shea Hennum, and Tegan O'Neil. The award also went to editor Caitlin PenzeyMoog.


''A.V. Club'' year- and decade-end lists

Starting in 1999, only lists written by individual writers were published. Beginning in 2006, ''The A.V. Club'' began publishing website-consensus, year-end album and film rankings, together with lists created by individual writers. Additionally decade-end lists were published for the 2000s and 2010s. Annual rankings for television began in 2010.


Album of the Year


Film of the Year


Television Show of the Year


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:A.V. Club The Onion Mass media in Chicago Publications established in 1993 American review websites Online newspapers with defunct print editions