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COVID-19 Maybe, But Another Week Without Fitz?

As noted earlier Lee Enterprises had announced there would be a series of pay cuts, lay-offs, and furloughs across its chain. Around the time Adam Zyglis took his two week furlough David Fitzsimmons of The Arizona Daily Star took a single week. Now Fitz is preparing us for a second week without his illustrated view of the world. Will we survive?

I’m starting my second furlough week this Monday because I would do anything to insure the survival of the newspaper I love.

When I said this to a newsroom colleague, he said, “How about putting in a full day of work?”

We who create The Arizona Daily Star every day are taking furloughs, or pay cuts, because we love what we do. We didn’t go into this line of work for wealth but because we’re obsessed.

Fitz continues:

The good news is The Arizona Daily Star soldiers on thanks to you, our extraordinary readers, our patrons, our boosters, our loyal critics and our champions. This is remarkable considering that since the pandemic over 36,000 news workers have been told to empty their desks, take unpaid time off or a pay cut. That constitutes thousands of untold stories of civic corruption, graft and wrongdoing left to metastasize in our body politic.

Pay cuts, layoffs and shutdowns have slammed the Denver Post, the Tampa Bay Times, the Detroit Free Press, the San Francisco Examiner, the Baltimore Sun, the Dallas Morning News, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Kansas City Star, the Miami Herald, the Sacramento Bee, the New York Daily News, the Buffalo News and the Times Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, born in 1837, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, born in 1878, and, yes, the Chicago Tribune, born in 1847. That was the year I drew my first cartoon, opposing the Mexican-American War.

Add to this list the hundreds of small-town papers that are withering and turning to dust, in town after town…

No word on the other Lee Enterprises cartoonists: Phil Hands, Jeff Koterba, and Bruce Plante.

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