Grand Rapids Press dropping Luann. Not really

The last couple of days, The Grand Rapids Press has announced that it was add Frazz and dropping Luann, but the reader reaction in one day gave editor Paul Keep pause. Today they announced that Luann stays but are asking readers if they can dump Peanuts.

20 thoughts on “Grand Rapids Press dropping Luann. Not really

  1. Here’s some advice to Keep: DO YOUR JOB and make decisions! Do you let readers decide what columnists get the boot, or is that your job?

  2. Even though I have nothing against Luann, I’d rather dump her than dump Snoopy.

  3. Even though Peanuts is one of the greatest of all time, its greatness won’t be harmed by being dropped from this or any paper, but dropping Luann would certainly harm the livelihood of a great living cartoonist.

    I’d side with the living over the dead any day of the week.

  4. I agree, Dave. The worst living cartoonist ever should always take precedence over reruns by a dead creator.

    Also, Tom, right on! Why are editors afraid to edit?

  5. Please put LuAnn comic back. Eliminate 1. Mutts, 2 Dilbert,
    3 Frazz, Ballard Street. any one of these or all.

  6. John Smeda, how can you dump Frazz, if it hasn’t added it yet?

    The Michigan paper should ADD “Frazz” since the creator of “Frazz” lives in Michigan. Support your own.

  7. Full disclosure: I began freelancing editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Press in March, so my opinion of the editor is pretty high. Paul Keep started as editor last year and has made a concerted effort to try new things including emphasizing local and state issues.

    Adding Frazz is part of the recent series of positive developments. It was way overdue. Jef Mallett is Michigan born and raised and actually worked for the Press for a number of years. Not to mention it is an excellent, top-quality strip.

    As for why LuAnn was picked as the strip to be replaced, I have no idea. Apparently LuAnn readers have rallied to its defense, which is good because it is a living/breathing strip. It shows some fortitude that Keep actually suggested Peanuts as the better candidate for replacement and didn’t leave it completely open. But frankly the Press runs several legacy strips that beg for replacement. I’m hopeful the positive developments will continue.

  8. They should drop the sports section.

    Seriously, is there ANYONE who follows sports even remotely on a regular basis that gets their news from it on paper? With ESPN, sports talk radio, all the ‘Net sites…sports is an industry where things change by the HOUR.

    Getting updates on sports in a paper is like cooking a cake and using a calendar as a timer.

    At most, make it just one page for the box score and stats.

    Just my trollish opinion.

  9. Grand Rapids is losing Peanuts? What papers in Michigan can you get Classic Peanuts access still?

  10. “Seriously, is there ANYONE who follows ________ even remotely on a regular basis that gets their news from it on paper?”

    That’s sort of been the problem for the last couple of years in general.

  11. 1. A good local beat reporter in sports is like a good local political cartoonist. I like ESPN and I like syndicated political cartoons. But there’s nothing like the local guy who has a little more access to the people involved and a better sense of what the local folks are interested in. You’re not against having newspapers put editorial cartoonists on staff, are you?

    2. If “sports” is only major league professional sports and top 20 college teams, you’ve got a good point. But my sons’ high school soccer teams weren’t on ESPN very often,not did I see a lot on ESPN when my younger son was fencing for Vassar. Local sports coverage sells a ton of newspapers, which is, after all the point.

    (And, yes, I think editors need to bite the bullet and make decisions. But if there’s nobody on staff who understands comics, I guess it’s better to admit it than blunder around blindly.)

  12. In the Tampa Bay area where I live, there is only one out of two newspapers that still has “Peanuts” a decade after Schulz’s retirement/death. The St. Petersburg Times is my newspaper and I’m glad they’ve managed to hold on to Charlie Brown, Snoopy, et al after all these years. The Tampa Tribune decided to drop Peanuts in 2006 after a flawed poll (my opinion). Both newspapers have “Luann” but not “Frazz”.

  13. I’ll have to take your word for it, I dont’ have kids.

    In Texas, youth sports (especially the all sacred ‘high school football’) are covered on TV here. Local TV stations make big rating covering local sports, and unlike the paper, you get to see the highlights.

    Hey, I’d rather see local editorial cartoonists than local sports beat reporters anyday. I mean, is there anything worse than a sports interview?

    “We just need to battle.”
    “I just did my best and good things happened.”
    “It was a tough loss, but we have to get back at it for the next game.”

    The worst cliches in the world of journalism come from sports interviews.

  14. Same thing happened twenty years ago whent he Charleston Daily Mail tried to dump “The Phantom.” Readers protested and he was reinstated. Later, they dropped him again and the reaction was much less, so he stayed dead.

  15. Sports must have a following in the newspaper because sports editors and writers generally get paid better than the general assignment reporters. Sports pages are not for play-by-play. They are for analysis. I could do without the sports pages altogether, but I have never been a sports nut. I am a cartoon nut.

  16. Sports coverage sells papers like little else.

    And God help you if the local pro team wins the Super Bowl or World Series. Your single-copy sales will skyrocket throughout the championship run. A year later, you’ll get memos from corporate headquarters demanding to know how you plan to equal those sales figures this year.

    “But the team sucks this year” will NOT be an acceptable answer. Your job will be in the hands of the team. I kid you not.

  17. I bow to the knowledge of those of you in the biz.
    It’s just as a reader, I find myself skipping the sports all the time, unless I want to check some quick stats like division standings or box scores. I have little use for reading stories about athletes or teams of any kind, it’s worse than reading horoscopes.

    I do understand that papers need to generate revenue, so if you say sports do that, great!

    Just wish there was some way to convince editors that BIG comics in FULL color would bring in new readers, perhaps even kids. Children’s books are kicking butt right now, so I don’t buy the old saw ‘kids don’t read anymore, they’re the PSP generation’ – bunk. If kids will read a kid’s book, they’ll read big colorful comics if they’re well done.

    They WON’T read postage stamp sized black and white mini strips. It’s the current format, not the medium, that hurts the comics, IMHO.

  18. …dump them both, get something new and up to date,both are has-beens of daze gone bye,editors should start showing some cajones and newspapers might survive…

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