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Mitch Semel to Head Onion’s TV Arm

Mitch Semel was named The Onion's new general manager on Monday, which means he'll oversee the news parody editorial operation, including its newspaper and television entities. Semel is a television veteran who served as East Coast senior VP of programming for CBS, and is a former senior VP of programming at Comedy Central. "We had been reading how Web video was going to be big, so we hired smart young people," said Steve Hannah, Onion's chief exec and the man to whom Semel will report. "The idea was, if we're really good at this, eventually the TV studios would come knocking. It's kind of a be-careful-what-you-wish-for moment."

The Onion's already branched into TV with its Comedy Central sports spoof Onion Sportsdome, and on Friday is set to launch Onion News Network on IFC. [Variety]