Universal Press is apparently working hard to get the word out to editors regarding the For Better or For Worse transition from new material to “new-runs” material. After last years transition to the “hybrid” that left both editors and readers scratching their heads, they have good reason to make sure everyone is prepared. Not to mention that according to one paper editor, other syndicates are allegedly spreading half-truths about the feature’s future in hopes of shaking free the slot for one of their offerings.
Like candidate George W. Bush who successfully changed the image of his 2000 campaign by relabeling himself as a “compassionate conservative” to break the association of a typical conservative, the term “new-runs” has a similar marketing feel. As the syndicate battles to maintain as many of Lynn Johnston’s slots as it can, the new definition is an attempt to convince editors that For Better or For Worse is indeed “new” (not just redrawn re-runs) and as such it shouldn’t be dropped (or question the price that it is being asked to pay for essentially re-runs). The question will be whether editors will see it for what it is – a recycled product with a “NEW” label slapped on it.