KAL closes an era at the Baltimore Sun

Last Friday was the last editorial cartoon published by Kevin Kallaugher (KAL) at the Baltimore Sun. KAL has spent 17 years with the Sun. We learned early December that KAL had decided to take a buyout offered to over 70 employees after discussing his future job security with the paper.

The cartoonist said last week that at first he considered the offer a formality – buyouts were offered to virtually everyone in the editorial page department to give anyone considering a career change the chance to participate – but said he was surprised when he discussed the offer with Editorial Page Editor Dianne Donovan.

“Dianne made it clear that the future of the editorial cartoonist position at The Sun was uncertain,” Kallaugher said. “She said it was not an issue of the quality of my work but a long-term financial and staffing issue. I appreciated her honesty. I was incredulous at the time, but it got to me thinking very seriously about my future.”

As for the future:

As for Kallaugher, he will continue to produce cartoons for The Economist magazine and will work on mastering 3-D animation, with the goal of developing content for the Internet and working with filmmakers on animated TV programming.

“I plan to take a sabbatical from cartooning except for The Economist work for a few months,” Kallaugher said. “So I won’t be in The Sun in any form after Saturday’s retrospective for some time. I want readers to recognize that I am really gone.”