See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

AJC drops 3 Sunday comics; combines pages

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has announced that it is dropping its Sunday comic section from eight pages to six. As a result three comics are being dropped: Frazz, DeFlocked and Nights Lights and Fairy Flights. The paper notes that slimming the comics page will “simplify our press runs and produce the newspaper more efficiently.”

Community Comments

#1 Norm Feuti
March/4/2009
@ 8:34 am

The paper notes that slimming the comics page will ?simplify our press runs and produce the newspaper more efficiently.?

AKA: “Degrading the product to save money”.

#2 Frank Rizzo
March/4/2009
@ 9:34 am

AKA “Trying to survive in this severe economy so you can continue to get ANY comics.”

#3 Norm Feuti
March/4/2009
@ 10:05 am

“AKA ?Trying to survive in this severe economy so you can continue to get ANY comics.?

You say that as if the readers have no choice. As if they have to accept what the paper gives them or go without. In an environment where any content can be read online for free, that’s a dangerous attitude to have.

I know times are tough, but it’s not like newspapers just started cutting their comics sections since January. It’s been going on for years.

I worked in retail for a long time. Every company I worked for who kept degrading their product to maintain a certain price point, or decided to abandon everything that made them special for a quick buck eventually went out of business.

If you keep stripping your business of everything that attracted your customers to it in the first place, you’ll eventually end up with a cheap product that nobody wants.

#4 Guy Gilchrist
March/4/2009
@ 10:40 am

I’m saddened to see my sunday go in the Atlanta paper. It’s a huge client for me, with the strip being self syndicated, and not in too many big ones, this is a tough one.

#5 Mick Masrtoianni
March/4/2009
@ 1:33 pm

here’s an idea, we are in a bit of financial trouble, so lets take out more of what readers love the most about our paper. Great business model guys! You’ll be hearing the senate soon, your bail out’s coming!

#6 Jimmy Delach
March/4/2009
@ 2:25 pm

By combine, do you mean spread three rows of comics on two pages of newspaper? If so, I believe the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette does this and personally I don’t like it.

#7 Quint Nelson
March/4/2009
@ 5:29 pm

The Journal-Constitution continues to shed comics. They whacked several daily strips just a few months ago. Now they cut more Sunday strips for “efficiency”.
Frankly, the Journal-Constitution will be shedding more readers as they slice and dice their content to make it more profitable…what a joke of a newspaper. It deserves to lose more circulation as the bean counters run it into the ground. Disgusting.

#8 steve skelton
March/4/2009
@ 5:44 pm

What does a strip cost a paper like AJC for a year’s worth? Something like $1200 perhaps?

Here is a sample from their ad rate page. It is for one ad for one day.

The estimated rate for ads in the newspaper is $560.00. Note: advertising rate estimates are typically for a column inch of black and white advertising space. Seasonal factors should also be considered. Contact the newspaper’s advertising department for an exact quote.

So basically, a couple of ads can pay for an entire years worth of one comic strip…….

My only deduction is that they must not think comics are worth a hoot.

#9 Charlie Azzara
March/5/2009
@ 10:53 pm

To defend Frank Rizzo, the AJC Comics Editor who posted earlier in this comment discussion and to replay to the last post.

1. I don’t believe Frank wanted to do this anymore than Cox (the owner) needed to cut expenses. His point was that at least they only had to cut three (unfortunately Guy’s was one of them). The fact they still have six pages is still pretty good. Many papers have gone to 4.

2. It’s not the cost of the comics. It’s the cost of the 2 pages of newsprint each week multipled times the 700,000 copies or whatever the AJC press run is each week times 52 weeks. That’s a lot of paper and ink.

I agree with Norm, cutting your way is not a way to a successful business. Most that do this…go out of business. But, if they can’t grow top line, they will cut the bottomline.

#10 Frank Rizzo
March/6/2009
@ 11:04 am

You’re right, Charlie. It’s not the comics that cost too much. It’s the paper they’re printed on.
I hate having to cut the comics lineup that I’ve spent about 15 years in shaping. I am not at all happy about this. But I also have an emotional attachment to getting a weekly paycheck, and if it helps save my job — let alone the primary and best source of news for metro Atlanta — I will cut the comics, as carefully and conscientiously as possible.
The AJC’s not alone. Most newspapers are reducing their size, dropping features, comics, whole sections. Others are going out of business, or teetering on the edge.
Newspapers have been hit by a double whammy. They are in trouble because so many readers and advertisers have shifted to the Internet, which doesn’t bring in nearly the revenue of print. (How many readers of this site still read print newspapers?) And the economy has drastically shrunk the amount of advertising available for any media.
Yes, a couple of full-page ads can pay for a year’s worth of comics. But there are no ads. And what about the costs of paper, ink, home delivery? Not to mention the salaries of the reporters, editors and other employees. You know, the people who produce all that boring text that surrounds the comics every day. I hear some people who buy papers actually do it for the news, not the comics.
Like quite a few other industries, we’re headed into a new world for news media, and nobody really knows what the model is going to be or how it will work. Some news organizations will probably figure out how to adapt; others won’t. But before you can adapt, you’ve got to survive the current hard times. You’ve got to cut expenses and wait out the downturn.
I hope daily comics will always be a part of newspapers, in whatever format they evolve. I’ll do what little I can to keep the comics going, but the outcome will be decided by forces beyond any person’s — or company’s — control.

#11 rhianna holliday
March/15/2009
@ 1:37 pm

I just bought the ajc this morning just for the Nights lights POEMS! only to find out they aren’t printing them anymore! Grrrr… please let me know how/where i can find these poems

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.