Steve Christensen – RIP

Steve Christensen, who formerly served as executive editor of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, which at its height sold more than 140 features in more than 100 countries around the world, has died.

Steve Christensen
November  18, 1953 – June 20, 2018

During his 1985 – 2000 tenure at the Los Angeles Times Syndicate he served as Managing Editor, Executive Editor, Vice President and General Manager, and Senior Vice President for New Media.

From the obituary:

Features distributed by the Times Syndicate included Pulitzer Prize-winning commentators and columnists, full news and feature services, editorial cartoons and comics, online products and photo and graphics packages. While at the Syndicate, Steve also served as editor for Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State in the Nixon and Ford administrations, and Jeane Kirkpatrick, former UN Ambassador with the Reagan administration, who both wrote columns distributed by the Syndicate. When he left the Syndicate in 2000 after Tribune Co. purchased the L.A. Times, Steve was the Syndicate’s senior vice president for new media.

Prior to working at the LATS Steve was a reporter and editor for UPI.

Steve was a man of great integrity. While with UPI, the agency had to make staff cuts and Steve was tasked with letting 15 people go. He cut a deal so that senior-level people could take early retirement and others could stay. On the eve of the announcement, UPI said they had to let junior-level people go, despite the fact that Steve had told them that their jobs were secure. He quit UPI after he was told to let them go anyway.

The comic strips begun while Steve was at The Los Angeles Times Syndicate (though I don’t know his involvement) include Phoebe’s Place by Bill Schorr, Walt Kelly’s Pogo by Sternecky & Doyle and Peter &Carolyn Kelly, Sherman on The Mount by Walt Lee, Against the Grain by Glenn Foden, and Dr. Katz by Bill Braudis, Dave Blazek, and Dick Truxaw.

Editorial cartoonists distributed by the syndicate during those years include Paul Conrad, Dan Wasserman, Jeff Danziger, and Taylor Jones.