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Lee Enterprises New Comics Lineup – Update

Update

Here is the new company-wide Lee Enterprises daily comics page from September 13, 2022.
Comics are from Andrews McMeel Syndication, puzzles are from Tribune Content Agency.

Another update:

Here, by the way (see comments below), is the extra page of Lee e-edition comics.
I’m sure (actually I’m guessing) these cartoonists get a few extra coins for this.

The original September 12 item:

The Martinsville Bulletin has posted notice to their readers of the changes coming to their syndicated comics, puzzles, and columns. They included the 10 comics that will see print in the paper going forth.

From The Martinsville Bulletin of September 12:

While more is coming online, we’ve changed our lineup of comics in print. We’ll still have Close to Home, For Better or For Worse, Garfield, Monty and Peanuts.

While we’re adding Argyle Sweater, Crabgrass, Garfield, Luann and Pearls Before Swine – and by an overwhelming request, Pickles daily, which previously had been only on Sundays – others, such as Dilbert, are moving online.

Okay, they listed Garfield twice, but there’s a bigger “but” here.

The Waco Tribune Herald mentioned another strip:

It won’t be easy saying goodbye to some of the long-running strips. Fortunately, some of the classics will remain, like “Peanuts,” “Baby Blues” and “Garfield.” There will also be some new strips replacing those we’ve published for a long time.

It has been stated that the new Lee Enterprises comics page will have ten comics. So unless individual papers will have some choice as to the comics they print, one of the above will not get the coveted slot.

Seven have been noted in other reports: Close to Home, Crabgrass, For Better or For Worse, Garfield, Peanuts, Pearls Before Swine, and Pickles seem safe bets based on those multiple mentions.

And I’m going to give The Argyle Sweater a spot based on the need to pair the panel Close to Home with another panel, though there are a few four-panel strips that could be stacked to form a panel space. (I’m curious to see the design – will the two panels be used as “ears” with two strips stacked between them to break up the page, or go with a boring two panels side by side at the top or bottom.)

So that leaves Baby Blues, Luann, and Monty for the two remaining spots.

Which two will win the 74 (77?) newspaper derby?

Community Comments

#1 Marlon Koenigsberg
September/13/2022
@ 5:09 am

Today’s (Tuesday) Buffalo News print edition includes only 10 comics, down from 33 yesterday. The heading includes a notice that to see additional comics, “visit our website”. An article on the website links to an unindexed comics page “powered by gocomics”. Presumably they’ll add that to their menu.

#2 Tom Falco
September/13/2022
@ 8:32 am

So sad. Why even bother having a comics section, if you can call it a “section.”

#3 Carl Laws
September/13/2022
@ 8:40 am

Last week’s announcement intimated that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch e-edition would carry more comics. I must have read that wrong because the e-edition now has only one page of color comics, instead of two, and 1/4 page B-W comics. Two of my favorites, Wallace the Brave and Crabgrass, are newly available, but I read them elsewhere in my morning routine before I even get to the P-D. Also, FWIW, the NYT Crossword has been replaced with the LA Times x-word.

I’m going to have to buy an actual _physical_ paper for no other reason than to see if they still have a Classifieds section; there isn’t one in the e-edition. If they do still have one, I’m sure it’s much smaller than the pages and pages and pages of classifieds and want ads that made up a large part of their income.

This newspaper shrinkage really bothers me. One day–and my pessimistic self tells me it’ll be sooner than later–in-depth reporting will be a thing of the past. God help us all!

#4 D.D.Degg
September/13/2022
@ 9:22 am

A number of the Lee papers’ e-editions I checked have extra material not available in the print editions:
– a “P” section with the individual puzzles magnified.
– an “X” page of 20 extra Andrews McMeel comics in color.
– and a “Y” section made up of one page each of news, business, sports, entertainment, and general interest all seemingly created, or at least distributed, from headquarters (i.e.: not local).

#5 Scott Hodges
September/13/2022
@ 12:16 pm

Just checked the Richmond Times-Dispatch from yesterday…still had THREE pages of comics.

However, today, they are doing the Lee model.

They carried Judge Parker, Rex Morgan and Mary Worth. Now they are all gone and not even on their website either.

#6 Stacy Curtis
September/13/2022
@ 1:22 pm

Since Lee Enterprises has done this, can other newspaper chains be far behind?

I haven’t subscribed to a newspaper since I worked for a Lee Enterprises newspaper. I subscribe to the syndicates’ sites so I can read comics online.

#7 Denese young
September/15/2022
@ 9:06 am

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch went from a really excellent comics page to this travesty. It shouldn’t bother me as much as it does since I read all my comics online, but it really, really does.

#8 Scott Hodges
September/17/2022
@ 8:21 am

Response from the HEAD HONCHO at Lee Enterprises who made the decision. Jason Adrians, VP/News, Lee Enterprises – Corporate. To his credit he did respond:

We are purchasing our comics from a company that offers what we consider to be the “best overall portfolio” of comics from top to bottom. We’re also purchasing them from a specific company – Andrews McMeel, in this case – because in addition to offering a great slate of comics for print, they also offer about 500 extra comics, 35 puzzles and about 15 syndicated columnists on our digital platforms. That means that our print readers have a reliable slate of excellent comics that range from newer to classic, and our digital readers have an entire library of comics to peruse every day.

I think, as we’ve went through the process of standardizing our comics and puzzles throughout the news organizations we operate and the communities we serve, we’ve learned a lot. What I’ve learned – or at least have been reminded of: There are hundreds of traditional comic strips across the company, and there are hundreds of different, and talented, creators and artists who are responsible for the work. It’s really hard to choose. Like, I could tell you what my 20 or 50 favorite movies are, for example … but we know that my top 20 probably isn’t your top 20. There’s also a chance that nothing in my top 20 would make your top 100, or vice-versa. And it truly is that way with comics. You love Judge Parker and Rex Morgan. Others say their favorites are Pickles and Crabgrass. Others still swear by Pearls Before Swine, Luann or Better or Worse. Everyone has their own favorites, and that’s what makes a final selection so interesting and challenging.

I’m sorry – truly – that these changes have upset you. I wish I could make you feel better about them. All I can ask is that you understand that we’re a local news company, and our investments and decisions reflect the responsibility we have as a company to make sure that accurate, fair and balanced community journalism continues to thrive throughout our local news markets throughout the rest of the country.

Thank you for taking the time to write, and please feel free to reach out anytime. Or my cell phone number is below and I welcome the call if you’d like to continue the conversation.

Jason Adrians

Vice President-Local News

Lee Enterprises Incorporated

W: 608-252-6273

C: 608-333-3530

E: jadrians@lee.net

#9 D. D. Degg
September/17/2022
@ 1:30 pm

Thanks for passing that on Scott

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