The Statesman-Journal (Salem, OR) recently conducted a poll to gauge the popularity of the comic features on their comics page. As a result, new features were added: Pickles, Mother Goose & Grimm, Prickly City, Stone Soup and Non Sequitur and several were dropped: Cathy, Gasoline Alley, Pardon My Planet, Frank & Ernest, Herman, Marmaduke, Baldo, The Middletons and Mallard Fillmore.
Regarding the dropping of Mallard Filmore, the opinion page editor explained:
We ink-stained wretches of the Opinion page hold no influence over choice of the comics, alas. But Michelle Maxwell, the Life editor, kindly provided this explanation of the decision:
Mallard Fillmore topped our list of the comic readers most disliked. Doonesbury did come in second.
Like Dilbert, Doonesbury is both loved and hated. We had many people who included Doonesbury in their most liked comics. The same cannot be said for Mallard Fillmore, which had a small amount of people who listed it as their favorite.
The comics page also got resized to accommodate the change in paper size, “The newspaper will be printed at a narrower width, which will make it a more convenient size.” (read: convenient size = cheaper). The strips are reportedly being printed at 5 3/8″ instead of the previous 5 5/8″.
The Sunday Comics were not touched.