Province newspaper reassigns cartoonists to web desk

Bob Kriegers last cartoon

The Vancouver Province sports cartoonist Bob Krieger announced he’s drawn his last cartoon for the paper but will be reassigned to work on the web desk along with editorial cartoonist Dan Murphy. Bob tells me the paper is short staffed so both he and Dan were reassigned as “the best way to manage resources.”

This is the last cartoon by Dan for the Province:
Last cartoon by Dan Murphy

I’ve got mixed feelings about his announcement. Very appreciative that the paper was able to find a place for their cartoonists within their organizations instead of tossing them out to the street like so many cartoonists have been treated. But a cartoonist skill is in cartooning – hopefully Bob and Dan can find professional fulfillment in their new duties or at least enough of it until they can find something else.

Clarification: I’m a bit behind in getting this clarification posted. Bob emailed me back and clarified that because of a collective agreement, the company was obligated to offer him a severance package or find him a job. Bob opted for the job. It should also be noted that the assessment that the paper was short staffed is something Bob was told – not his assessment.

3 thoughts on “Province newspaper reassigns cartoonists to web desk

  1. Wow! The sports section IS the Province and Krieger has a big following. I’m guessing the NHL lockout must really be hurting them. Hopefully this is just a temporary move because the city is without sports for the moment. Maybe they’ll reinstate him when the Canucks, Lions, and Whitecaps return. I can’t imagine him not cartooning.

    Krieger is an amazing talent, as a writer and artist he can do anything. I’d like to see him go for syndication. I’m sure he’s got a stockpile of gags sitting in a drawer.

    Maybe he could enter the upcoming Cartoonist’s Studio Contest. It would be an honour to lose to him.

  2. Bob Krieger and Dan Murphy belong to the union, which is certainly the only reason why they have not been tossed out onto the street like other cartoonists.

    Both are brilliant cartoonists. They are both easily among the newspaper’s most popular features. Both have in recent years adjusted their work to suit company dictates. Murphy took up animated cartoons, while Krieger revived the lost art of sports cartooning when he was ordered off the editorial page and into that section.

    They have been a great tag team in the Canadian cartooning tradition, like Sid Barron and Duncan Macpherson at the Toronto Star in the 1960s and Brian Gable and Tony Jenkins at the Globe in more recent years. Cartoons by Murphy and Krieger are among the many thousands preserved by the Simon Fraser University Library Editorial Cartoons Collection:

    When newspaper management reassigns two brilliant cartoonists to web desk work you can’t tell me the death of newspapers is not a suicide.

  3. For the record, axing the cartoonist job category was the worst “way to manage resources” — but as displays of vindictiveness go, pretty excellent. And they may have planned on reassigning me to the web desk, but after finishing my last cartoon I walked out of the newsroom for good.

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