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Chicago Sun-Times Slashes Comics Pages

 

The Chicago Sun-Times in an effort “to reinvest in the quality journalism you’ve come to expect”
will “[pare] back some comics.”

Today marks some changes to the comics and classified pages of our Monday-through-Saturday print editions. Rather than three dedicated pages of comics, we’ll be publishing one comics page with the New York Times crossword and interspersing other comics and puzzles throughout the classifieds section.

 

 

Why the changes? We recently surveyed our readers to see what they value and also studied industry trends. Headwinds in the newspaper industry continue to be strong, especially when it comes to newsprint and other production costs. Paring back some comics and making more effective use of our classifieds space will allow us to reinvest in the quality journalism you’ve come to expect.

14 comics remain, 12 comics have been cut.

 

In the game of hide-and-seek these features stay on the “comics page”:
Luann
Pearls Before Swine
Garfield
Jump Start
The Wizard of Id
Arlo and Janis

These comics have been shuffled to the classifieds:
Speed Bump
Love Is…
Curtis
Monty
Marmaduke
Dennis the Menace
Daddy’s Home
Frank & Ernest (already in the classifieds)

The comics Left Behind are:
One Big Happy
Pooch Cafe
Real Life Adventures
Bizarro
Grand Avenue
Red and Rover
Lio
DeFlocked
Sally Forth
The Duplex
Ziggy
In The Bleachers (from the sports section)

 

 

The Chicago Sun-Times message to readers about print edition comics and classifieds.

Hat tip to Darryl Heine and Joshua Kreitzer for the lists of
what got booted and the assigned seating of those remaining.

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Mike Peterson
November/2/2018
@ 3:02 am

Bet you $20 they did not survey their readers. They simply asked for feedback and got it from the folks who are retired and have time for such things.

I wish editors would learn what the term means.

#2 Christopher Smigliano
November/2/2018
@ 8:22 am

Yep, it’s ALWAYS “get rid of the comics”, isn’t it?

#3 Gouldman Sax
November/2/2018
@ 9:11 am

If they lose just 100 subscribers a year in relation to this change, they will have lost more than $24,000 in annual revenue. ($240 annual sub). If they lose 500, they would lose more than $120,000. I bet it’s more than 100. Could they be saving that much in newsprint and syndicate fees? Imagine if they lose 1,000 subscribers.

#4 Mike Peterson
November/2/2018
@ 12:02 pm

Start with the idea that they’re likely paying up to 30 percent simply to their carriers. Well, not 30 percent of $800, for sure. But the cut from print to e-edition is significant.

On the other hand, going strictly to e-edition is troublesome unless you maintain a strong, strong local presence as well as other reasons for people to stick with you. What you end up with otherwise is people popping in for one story and then wandering off.

Incidentally, I remember when the San Jose Mercury News, the Houston Chronicle and one of the Philly papers had “make your own comics pages.” A syndicate biggie told me they saw it as a mistake and wouldn’t license more, but, fortunately for them, the beancounters in charge of those papers decided to get rid of something that was generating traffic for them, using the justification “I’m an idiot.”

Which seems to cover a lot in the industry.

#5 Brad Perri
November/3/2018
@ 3:37 pm

Well as we learned from Pulitzer and Hearst, nothing boosts newspaper circulation better than eliminating comics!

#6 Susan Malec
November/5/2018
@ 9:26 am

Every time a cost cutting move is made it always starts with ‘we surveyed our readers/clients/customers,’. Does anyone ever believe that? Changes are made to save money. It’s always about the bottom line. They must have also fired all of their proofreaders. Sentences don’t always make sense, words are misspelled, and sometimes a sentence is repeated in the same paragraph. It’s only a matter of time before there is no news on paper anymore. It will all be on line.

#7 Michael Davis
November/6/2018
@ 12:22 pm

Pooch cafe was the best. One of the reasons I bought the paper.

#8 Daily Cartoonist Staff
November/6/2018
@ 4:52 pm

Write your paper. Only the readers can bring cancelled strips back.

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