Matt Davies starts staff cartooning job at Newsday

From Newsday’s Rita Ciolli on how Matt Davies landed the Newsday gig:

Here?s how he got to Newsday. The decision on replacing Handelsman was postponed until the arrival of a new publisher. Gordon McLeod started on April 1, and the next day he asked me whether the Opinion Department had all the resources it needed. I told him our first priority should be to find a replacement for Walt. Our readers deserve someone who can comment on the news of the day with both a pointed and witty vision. And I said that Newsday should defy the disturbing trend of newspapers dropping their cartoonists.

More than a decade ago, cartoonist Patrick Oliphant lamented the depleting ranks of the profession. ?That once-potent galvanizer of opinion, the kick-starter of conversation and discussion, has been allowed to atrophy from disuse, and is, after several centuries of successful use as a castigator and common scold of the body politic, in great jeopardy of fading away altogether,? Oliphant wrote in Neiman Reports.

Four months after my conversation with Gordon, and after we interviewed some the nation?s best talents and reviewed the work of dozens of others, Davies is joining the staff. At a time when most newspapers are without a staff cartoonist, Newsday has decided to make an important investment.

Congratulations to Matt and Newsday for investing in having a staff cartoonist. Here’s a promotional time-lapse video they provided with his first day on the job.

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