Dave Astor, the senior editor at Editor and Publisher who covered syndication news, has been laid off in a cost-cutting measure. Dave has been with E&P since 1983 when he was hired as an associate editor to cover advertising and syndication. Shortly thereafter he began covering syndicate columnists and cartoonists exclusively. In 2000 he was promoted to senior editor.
Dave tells me that his greatest experiences covering the cartoonists was watching the comics page diversify since 1985 with more female and minority representation and having the opportunity to meet the cartoonists he covered professionally. Two giants in the field that he admired and was excited to meet included Peanuts creator Charles Schulz in 1985 and later Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau. “It’s been wonderful covering cartoon creators, most of them are great people. I’m going to miss covering them” he said.
Some of the things he hasn’t enjoyed having to cover include the shrinking number of comics and the many job loses in the editorial cartooning community. He said, “I have written so much about editorial cartoonists losing their jobs, I felt for them, but now I know what it feels like at a gut level.”
Looking to the future, Dave would like to expand opportunities related to a humor column that he writes for a local paper in his area.
On a personal note, for those of us who have had a long interest in newspaper cartooning, Dave’s work for E&P was a must read. He is definitely the founding father of syndication reporting. Since starting this blog, I don’t know how many times I had a “what would Dave Astor do” moment, but there have been many. For these three years, he has been the one I measured myself against and each time he linked to something I wrote was like getting a nod of approval. I still hope that someday our paths will cross and we can enjoy swapping stories of the profession we’ve been dedicated to cover.
UPDATE: Dave’s work email is no longer in service. If you’d like to contact him, please do so at his personal email: dastor[at]earthlink[dot]net (replace [at] with @ and [dot] with .)