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More information on Clay Bennett’s decision to leave CSM

Dave Astor has interviewed Clay Bennett about yesterday’s announcement that he was leaving the Christian Science Monitor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Indeed the pull to return to the south was strong as was the desire to return to a metro paper.

“I’ve had a hankering to get back to a metro paper,” said Bennett, who joins the Times Free Press on Jan. 1 — exactly 10 years to the day he started at the Monitor. “There’s something to having a real constituency you can see.”

In talking with out-going Bruce Plante regarding the Times Free Press, Clay learned that the paper was a positive environment for a cartoonists.

The Monitor cartoonist told E&P that he heard good things about the Times Free Press from Plante, including praise about the “latitude” the paper allows its cartoonist. And given that the paper has two editorial pages (one liberal and one conservative), it would be difficult to “go outside what the newspaper professes” in its opinions, Bennett said wryly.

“My political leanings are more liberal than not, but a lot of cartoons I do don’t take a partisan position,” he said.

Also revealed in the article is Clay’s believe that the CSM will hire a new cartoonist to replace him, and that now that he’ll be leaving the CSM, he’s looking for a new syndicate to distribute his cartoons.

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