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Idaho State Journal Makes Comics Page Changes – update

Original August 21, 2020 post:

Over last weekend the Idaho State Journal made changes to their daily comics page.

As we continue to navigate through the changing COVID-19 world, we have made some changes to our daily comics and puzzles. This is based on availability, cost savings and better production methods. We apologize if we have disrupted your favorite comic strip or puzzle but think you will enjoy what we have to offer. You will now find the comics and puzzles as part of the classified section each day. Saturday’s offerings will run on Friday and Monday’s will be published on Sunday.

Those changes included dropping four comics, two strips and two panels:
Luann
Wallace the Brave
Cornered
The Argyle Sweater

Below is the Idaho State Journal Funnies page before and after the changes.

 

Wonder if advertisers pay a premium to get that funny pages spot?

 

Updated August 23, 2020

Mike P’s comment below (#5)…

Just a guess, but a group buy could also mean group page layout

Which would make the pretense of a thoughtful review a case of bafflegab to cover up the fact that the editor has very little control of the paper, which, in turn, wouldn’t surprise me a whole lot.

got me to dig a little deeper.

It seems the Idaho State Journal is part of the Adams Publishing Group, a chain consisting of mostly weeklies but does include 34 daily newspapers. I could only find the comics page to one of those papers – the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. Below is that comics page, same as the pre-ad State Journal.

So, while not definitive proof, it certainly reinforces the idea that the change may be a group action not a singular situation.

Two things: The Telegram-Leader page comes from newspapers.com which has a one month delay. So I won’t know if they followed suit for another three weeks. Also, even if they do make the switch to ad space, two papers out of 34 doesn’t make it group wide.

Community Comments

#1 Mike Baldwin
August/21/2020
@ 12:34 pm

Thanks for posting the before and after pages.
It looks to me like they just slapped an ad over the bottom four features without much thought about what to drop.
I can’t find the paper on my list of clients, so they must be part of a group buy. I can see why they would rather get revenue from an ad, but am sure the cost of the features wasn’t much of an issue, based on the group-buy deal. Sorry to lose their readers though.

#2 D. D. Degg
August/21/2020
@ 2:59 pm

Agree. It certainly doesn’t look like what was dropped was “based on availability, cost savings and better production methods.” Rather it appears to be made for additional ad space and they just lopped off the bottom four comics.

#3 Mark Jackson
August/21/2020
@ 3:45 pm

It would be interesting to corner the editor and ask him if he could name the four comics they dropped.

#4 Brett Mount
August/22/2020
@ 12:24 am

Dropping Wallace is a brave move, It’s one of the truly great modern strips.

#5 Mike Peterson
August/22/2020
@ 4:13 am

Just a guess, but a group buy could also mean group page layout either at one paper in the group or somewhere overseas, in which case dropping the bottom four strips would be the only way to place that ad without — gasp! — laying out the page in-house.

Which would make the pretense of a thoughtful review a case of bafflegab to cover up the fact that the editor has very little control of the paper, which, in turn, wouldn’t surprise me a whole lot.

#6 Tom Falco
August/22/2020
@ 5:21 am

The NY Daily News was going to start running my comic panel bu t then they got all in a tizzy because whomever was laying out the pages, off site somewhere, would be confused and wouldn’t know what to do. So they scratched the idea. Not sure how that makes sense, but that was the reasoning they gave me and lead me to believe that unfortunately the editor had no control over those pages.

Now The Daily News does not even have a home. Literally. They moved out of their last building and the whole staff, editors and all, work from home. Not sure how they print the paper at home, but that’s another story.

I remember as a kid, walking through the Miami Herald building and seeing a guy laying layout the two comics pages, right there on big boards in glorious black and white. Memories . . .

#7 Ignatz
August/22/2020
@ 5:49 am

Not sure if it was wise to drop Luann. If the online comments section is any indication, that one excites passion. They may be on the receiving end of some ferocious people.

#8 Will Henry
August/22/2020
@ 9:17 am

I’ve been replaced by a jacuzzi ad

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