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Comic changes for the week

» From a reader of the Orlando Sentinel comes a report that the paper moved their comic section out of the features section and into the middle of the classified section. I can only presume the paper is trying to drive more readers into the classifieds to maintain (increase?) the value of said ads.

» The Peoria Journal-Star has picked up Pearls Before Swine, Cow & Boy and The Born Loser. The three features replace Frazz, Zack Hill and Non Sequitur.

» Richard Thompson’s Cul de Sac has been picked up by The Kansas City Star.

Community Comments

#1 Randal Milholland
April/22/2009
@ 1:32 pm

Assuming the comics were moved to the jobs section of the classified ads, I can see it making sense. If anyone needs a laugh, it’s people who are trying to get jobs.

#2 Mike Peterson
April/22/2009
@ 2:15 pm

As classifieds implode, page count goes down. But if you’re running an equal number of pages in matching sections, you don’t want to drop the page count too much — that is to say, it’s not unusual for the A section and the C section to have the same number of pages, and the B section and D section likewise.

By moving comics into the classifieds, you keep the page count in that section at a reasonable level to balance with a matching section elsewhere in the paper.

There is also the “wham factor,” which is that you want the paper to have a little heft so that people feel they’re getting some value. If your classified section is beginning to feel flimsy, it only serves to accelerate the perception that Craig’s List is killing more than … (tasteless joke deleted).

And you would put the comics inside because the front and back are favorable advertising spots, so you don’t want to block anyone from buying an ad there. Also, if you keep live ads off the comics page, you can lay it out in advance and help control your hourly labor costs.

There IS also an argument for putting comics in the classifieds to get people to look there, but it’s a little lame because the classifieds get plenty of eyeballs anyway. But they’re still a good place to stick “Trudy” so that the blue-hair crowd can’t scream at you for dropping it.

#3 Sandy Ross
April/22/2009
@ 7:31 pm

I live in Orlando and The Sentinel (or Slantinel) has been pitiful for awhile now. They laid off so many people over the years there is no real reporting. All the national news is Associated Press and the local section has become less local. Plus, the ads take up what seems to be 3/4 of the paper. With the job market as bad here as the rest of the country they probably moved the comics to the classifieds to have that section be more than 2 pages.

#4 Jimmy Delach
April/22/2009
@ 8:14 pm

The St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune nearby both have their comics in their classifieds. Tribune did this twice. I remember back in the 1980’s and 1990’s when their section was entitled “Classified & Comics”.

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