Above is a screenshot of yesterday’s King Features Syndicate’s page listing of its syndicated comics, new to the page are placeholders for most of the comics features syndicated by Tribune Content Agency. Below is an earlier shot of the page.
For years Tribune Content Agency(TCA) has had a deal with King Features Syndicate(KFS) to feature the Trib comics on the page Comics Kingdom offers to newspaper websites.
See The Oregonian’s comics website for an example.
Comparing the Comics Kingdom web offering and the new King Features page reveal all the comic strips match. Missing from both are some Tribune comics listed on the Trib comics page: Love Is…, Half Full, the discontinued Annie, and the discontinued Brenda Starr.
The placeholders on the King Features’ page suggests that King Features is, at least, taking over the distribution of Tribune properties, or possibly even buying the syndication arm of the distressed Tribune Publishing.
BUT – none of the other Trib syndicated content has (yet?) made the crossover. The Trib opinion and advice columns do not have placeholders at King. And the very popular Jumble puzzle also has no place holder at King.
There is also the question of who owns the properties – Dick Tracy, Little Orphan Annie, Gasoline Alley are a part of American lore and must have some intrinsic value. And what about the historic comic strips of Terry and the Pirates, Mary Perkins, Moon Mullins, The Gumps, Rick O’Shay, Dondi, and many more? Would the ownership (and licensing rights) of those be part of any sale?
If there is some sort of merger in the works this would combine the last two syndicates from one hundred years ago. King Features Syndicate began in 1915, while Tribune Content Agency started, as Chicago Tribune Syndicate, in 1918.
Let me be clear – this, at the moment, is idle speculation, mere conjecture,
as no news regarding any of this has been released by KFS or TCA.