The A.V. Club

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The A.V. Club
Avclub logo.png
TypePopular culture, entertainment, news, reviews, politics, progressive[1][2]
FormatInternet
Owner(s)Onion, Inc.
Editor-in-chiefLaura M. Browning
Founded1993; 25 years ago (1993)
LanguageEnglish
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Websiteavclub.com

The A.V. Club is an online newspaper[3] 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 The Onion, despite having a minimal presence on its website in its early years. A 2005 website redesign placed The A.V. Club in a more prominent position, allowing its online Identity to grow. Unlike its parent publication, The A.V. Club is not satirical.[4]

The publication's name is a reference to school audiovisual clubs.[5]

History[edit]

In 1993, five years after the founding of The Onion, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Stephen Thompson, launched an entertainment section of the newspaper.

In 1996, both The Onion and The A.V. Club made their internet debut.[6] The A.V. Club was originally a sub-section[7] of the main theonion.com domain name. It was eventually moved to its own theavclub.com domain name [8] before the 2005 acquisition of the shorter avclub.com domain name[9] which 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.

In December 2004, Stephen Thompson left his position as founding editor of The A.V. Club.[10]

According to Sean Mills, then-president of The Onion, the A.V. Club website first received more than 1 million unique visitors in October 2007.[11] In late 2009 the website was reported to have received over 1.4 million unique visitors and 75,000 comments per month.[12]

At its peak the print version of The A.V. Club was available in 17 different cities.[13] 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 in the final three markets.[14]

2012–2014 senior staff departures[edit]

On December 13, 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."[15][16][17]

On April 2, 2013, long-time film editor and critic Scott Tobias stepped down from his role as film editor of The A.V. Club. He stated via Twitter, "After 15 great years @theavclub, I step down as Film Editor next Friday."[18]

On April 26, 2013, long-time writers Nathan Rabin, Tasha Robinson, and Genevieve Koski announced that they would also be leaving the website to begin work on a new project alongside Scott Tobias and Keith Phipps.[19] Koski also stated that she would continue to write freelance articles.[20] Writer Noel Murray announced he would also be joining their new project but would continue to contribute to The A.V. Club in a reduced capacity.[19] On May 30, 2013, it was announced that those six writers would be part of the senior staff of The Dissolve, a film website run by Pitchfork Media.[21]

In April and June 2014, senior staff writers Kyle Ryan, Sonia Saraiya, and Todd VanDerWerff left the website for positions at Entertainment Weekly, Salon and Vox Media, respectively.[22][23] In 2015, Ryan returned to Onion, Inc. for a position in development.[24] Following his departure from The Dissolve earlier that month, Nathan Rabin returned to write freelance for the website in May 2015;[25] this included the renewal of his regular column "My World of Flops". The Dissolve folded in July 2015.[26]

Television series[edit]

On February 16, 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.[27] The series, hosted by Teti, began airing on Fusion on 16 March 2017.[28] The series features news, criticism, and discussions about various popular culture topics and features staff members from the website.

Move to Univision[edit]

In January 2016 Univision Communications acquired "a 40 percent, controlling stake" in Onion Inc., the parent company of The A.V. Club.[29] 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.[30] The site was subsequently migrated from Bulbs, an internal content management system developed by Onion Inc., to the Gawker-developed Kinja platform[31][32], deleting the comment section and audience reviews hosted on the previous site.

Controversy[edit]

On December 9, 2010, the website ComicsComicsMag revealed that 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.[33] The review was removed, and then-editor Keith Phipps posted an apology on the website.[34] Leonard Pierce, the author of the review, was terminated from his freelance role with the website.[35]

Books[edit]

  • The Tenacity Of The Cockroach: Conversations With Entertainment's Most Enduring Outsiders (2002, ISBN 1-4000-4724-2) 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, ISBN 1-4165-9473-6) is a combination of never-before-published lists and material already available on the AV Club website.
  • My Year of Flops: The A.V. Club Presents One Man's Journey Deep into the Heart of Cinematic Failure (2010, ISBN 1-4391-5312-4) consists of entries taken from the website's recurring My Year of Flops column along with new material not previously available. It is the first A.V. Club release credited to a single author: Nathan Rabin.

A.V. Club year-end lists[edit]

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 alongside lists for individual writers.

Annual rankings for television began in 2010.

Album of the Year[edit]

Year Artist Album Nation Source
2006 The Hold Steady Boys and Girls in America  United States [36]
2007 Arcade Fire Neon Bible  Canada [37]
2008 TV on the Radio Dear Science  United States [38]
2009 Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix  France [39]
2010 Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  United States [40]
2011 Wye Oak Civilian  United States [41]
2012 Frank Ocean Channel Orange  United States [42]
2013 Kanye West Yeezus  United States [43]
2014 Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire for No Witness  United States [44]
2015 Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly  United States [45]
2016 David Bowie Blackstar  United Kingdom [46]
2017 Kendrick Lamar DAMN.  United States [47]

Film of the Year[edit]

Year Director Film Nation Source
2006 Alfonso Cuarón Children of Men  United States
 United Kingdom
 Mexico
[48]
2007 Joel and Ethan Coen No Country for Old Men  United States [49]
2008 Andrew Stanton WALL-E  United States [50]
2009 Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker  United States
 Canada
 France
[51]
2010 Debra Granik Winter's Bone  United States [52]
2011 Terrence Malick The Tree of Life  United States [53]
2012 Paul Thomas Anderson The Master  United States [54]
2013 Richard Linklater Before Midnight  United States [55]
2014 Richard Linklater Boyhood  United States [56]
2015 George Miller Mad Max: Fury Road  Australia
 United States
[57]
2016 Kenneth Lonergan Manchester by the Sea  United States [58]
2017 Sean Baker The Florida Project  United States [59]

Television Show of the Year[edit]

Year Show Network Nation Source
2010 Breaking Bad AMC  United States [60]
2011 Louie FX  United States [61]
2012 Breaking Bad AMC  United States [62]
2013 Enlightened HBO  United States [63]
2014 Hannibal NBC  United States [64]
2015 Mad Men AMC  United States [65]
2016 The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story FX  United States [66]
2017 The Good Place NBC  United States [67]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nasty women Emily Winter and Jenn Welch on organizing an anti-Trump comedy festival". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  2. ^ "The A.V. Club discusses how Meryl Streep is more presidential than Donald Trump". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  3. ^ Castillo, Jay (December 14, 2017). "This Photo Is The Perfect Example Of What Internet Will Look Like If Net Neutrality Loses". Inquisitr. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "About Us". The A.V. Club. 1 January 1988. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  5. ^ "About Us". The A.V. Club. 1 January 1988. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  6. ^ "The Onion: America's Finest News Source". The Onion. 1996-12-19. Archived from the original on 1996-12-31. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  7. ^ "Wayback Machine". 1996-12-19. Archived from the original on 1996-12-19. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  8. ^ "Wayback Machine". 2001-09-30. Archived from the original on 27 November 1999. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  9. ^ "Home | The A.V. Club". 6 August 2005. Archived from the original on 6 August 2005. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Bio for Stephen Thompson, Editor, NPR Music". Npr.org. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  11. ^ David Shankbone (24 November 2007). "An interview with 'America's Finest News Source'", Wikinews
  12. ^ Steve Johnson (27 October 2009). "Onion's A.V. Club is building up its brand". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
  13. ^ Gilmer, Marcus (8 November 2013). "The Onion bids adieu to print". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  14. ^ Ryan, Kyle. "The Onion & A.V. Club ending print publication next month". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  15. ^ Goodybyes & Hellos Untitled Keith Phipps Project, December 13, 2012
  16. ^ Keith Phipps is no longer editor of The A.V. Club The A.V. Club, December 14, 2012
  17. ^ Editor Keith Phipps Leaves The A.V. Club Criticwire, December 13, 2012
  18. ^ Scott Tobias Leaves A.V. Club, Site Looking For a New Film Editor Criticwire, April 2, 2013
  19. ^ a b An Update from the AV Club The AV Club April 26, 2013
  20. ^ @GenevieveKoski (26 Apr 2013). "To clarify: I'll still contribute as a freelancer whenever I can, but I am no longer an editor. So you can't blame me for mistakes anymore!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  21. ^ "Introducing The Dissolve, A New Film Site". Pitchfork. 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  22. ^ Adams, Sam (9 June 2014). "A.V. Club Exodus Continues as Todd VanDerWerff Becomes Vox's First Culture Editor". Indiewire. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  23. ^ Bazilian, Emma (21 April 2014). "Matt Bean staffs up at Entertainment Weekly". Adweek. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  24. ^ Ryan, Kyle (16 March 2015). "I know it might sound strange, but I believe you'll be coming back before too long". CMYKyle: Kyle Ryan's Shameless Self-Promotion. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  25. ^ Rabin, Nathan (25 August 2015). "Nathan Rabin • The A.V. Club". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  26. ^ Phipps, Keith (8 July 2015). "The End". The Dissolve. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  27. ^ Teti, John (16 February 2017). "The A.V. Club will soon exist in TV show form". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  28. ^ Hughes, William (15 March 2017). "The A.V. Club TV show debuts tomorrow night, on Fusion". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  29. ^ David Folkenflik (19 January 2016). "Area Satirical Publication The Onion Sold To Univision (Seriously)". NPR.
  30. ^ Veronica Villafañe (22 September 2016). "Univision Rebrands Gawker Media As Gizmodo Media Group; Starts Translating Content For Univision.com". Forbes.
  31. ^ Benjamin Mullin (16 June 2017). "Kinja, the publishing system at the heart of Gawker, lives on under Univision". Poynter.
  32. ^ Laura M. Browning and Sean O'Neal (23 August 2017). "Welcome (back) to The A.V. Club". The AV Club.
  33. ^ "The Most Amazing Review of the Year". Comics Comics. Archived from the original on 11 December 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
  34. ^ "An apology from The A.V. Club". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
  35. ^ Kaufman, Rachel. "AV Club Writer Loses Gig After Faking Review". Adweek. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  36. ^ Bahn, Christopher. "Best Music Of 2006 · Article · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  37. ^ Bahn, Christopher. "The best music of 2007 · Article · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  38. ^ "The best music of 2008 · Article · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  39. ^ "The top 25 albums of 2009 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  40. ^ Heller, Jason. "The best music of 2010 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  41. ^ Eakin, Marah. "The best music of 2011 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  42. ^ "The best music of 2012 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  43. ^ Adams, Erik. "The 23 best albums of 2013 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  44. ^ Anthony, David. "The 20 best albums of 2014 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  45. ^ "The 15 best albums of 2015". Avclub.com. December 7, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  46. ^ "The A.V. Club's 20 best albums of 2016". Avclub.com. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  47. ^ "The A.V. Club's 20 best albums of 2017". The A.V. Club. December 7, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  48. ^ Murray, Noel. "The Year In Film 2006 · Article · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  49. ^ Murray, Noel. "The Year In Film 2007 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  50. ^ Murray, Noel; Phipps, Keith; Rabin, Nathan; Robinson, Tasha; Tobias, Scott. "The year in film 2008 · Article · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  51. ^ Murray, Noel. "The year in film 2009 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  52. ^ Murray, Noel. "The best films of 2010 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  53. ^ Adams, Sam. "Best films of 2011 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  54. ^ Adams, Sam. "The best films of 2012 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  55. ^ Adams, Sam. "The best films of 2013 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  56. ^ "The 20 best movies of 2014 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  57. ^ "The 20 best films of 2015". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  58. ^ "The 20 best films of 2016". Avclub.com. December 19, 2015.
  59. ^ "The 20 best films of 2017". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  60. ^ Alston, Joshua. "The 25 best television series of 2010 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  61. ^ "Best TV of 2011 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  62. ^ "The best TV of 2012 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  63. ^ Todd VanDerWerff. "Enlightened was the best TV show of 2013 · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  64. ^ Adams, Erik. "The best TV shows of 2014 (part 2) · Best of · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  65. ^ "The best TV of 2015, part 2". Avclub.com. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  66. ^ "The best TV of 2016, part 2". Avclub.com. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  67. ^ "The A.V. Club's 20 best TV shows of 2017". The A.V. Club. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.

External links[edit]