Gannett’s Clarion Ledger Changes Comics – Updated with Indianapolis Star Changes

Under the headline “Clarion Ledger refreshes comic lineup based on reader input, changing tastes” the Mississippi newspaper informed readers that their funnies will be changing as the paper finally conforms to Gannett’s company-wide overhaul of their comics pages.

After reminiscing about the old days of meeting with syndicate salesmen to discuss comics changes to his newspaper Clarion Ledger (and Hattiesburg American) executive editor Mark Konradi continued:

On Jan. 15, The Clarion Ledger and will roll out a fresh lineup of daily and Sunday comics. The new comic offerings are launching across the larger USA TODAY Network.

Our readers will find some old favorites and new funnies. And, if you’re a devout comics reader, I’m sure some of the latest offerings will become favorites with time.

The beauty of this form of reader content is that it survived by embracing change.

above: the centerspread (pages two and three) of the December 3, 2023 Clarion Ledger Sunday comics section

The Clarion Ledger is among the last of the Gannett newspapers to make the great comics switcheroo.

Of the six groups available they have chosen to go with groups one through four of The Gannett 34.

Mr. Konradi details the comings and goings:

Old daily favorites such as Beetle Bailey, Garfield, Hagar and Blondie are sticking around. Also remaining in the lineup are popular strips such as Pearls Before Swine and Dennis the Menace among many more.

Others daily strips that won’t change include Jump Start, For Better or For Worse, Crabgrass, Crankshaft, Baby Blues and Zits.

Here are the Sunday classics that will remain: For Better or For Worse, Baby Blues, Crabgrass, Garfield, Zits, Hagar, Jump Start, Beetle Baily, Crankshaft, Foxtrot and Blondie.

Some daily classics are returning. Those include Peanuts, Family Circus and Marmaduke. We are also adding the following to the daily lineup: Pickles, Ziggy, Non-Sequitur, Luann, Baldo, Frank & Ernest, and Born Loser.

Here are the Sunday strips being added: Family Circus, Dennis the Menace, Peanuts, Pickles, Pearls Before Swine, Ziggy, Marmaduke, Non Sequitur, Luann, Baldo, Frank & Ernest and Born Loser.

A few daily strips are going away. Those include: Prickly City, Take it from the Tinkersons, Betty, Close to Home, Arlo and Janis, B.C., Snuffy Smith, Wizard of Id, Shoe, Judge Parker, Dustin and Mark Trail.

Here are the Sunday strips leaving: Dustin, Doonesbury, Wizard of Id, Sit Tight, B.C., Arlo and Janis, Take it from the Tinkersons, Judge Parker, Close to Home, Shoe, Snuffy Smith, Prickly City and Hi and Lois.

above: The Clarion-Ledger comics section masthead of 50 years ago; the current comics section masthead is our feature image


The Indianapolis Star, a part of the USA TODAY Network, released the contents of their revised comics pages. The paper will be carrying the entirety of The Gannett 34 – the 33 dailies and selected Sunday strips.

From The Indy Star via MSN:

Here’s the complete list of Sunday comics for the Star beginning mid-January: Blondie, Zits, Beetle Bailey, Family Circus, Hagar, Dennis the Menace, Garfield, Peanuts, For Better or Worse, Baby Blues, Pickles, Foxtrot, Pearls Before Swine, Jump Start, Ziggy, Marmaduke, Non Sequitur, Crabgrass, Crankshaft, Luann, Baldo, Frank & Ernest and Born Loser.

Weekday papers will carry all of the above except Foxtrot, which only runs once a week, and also these strips: Close to Home, Argyle Sweater, Mother Goose, Rose is Rose, Wizard of Id, B.C., Hi & Lois, Mutts, Curtis, Shoe and Lockhorns.

Comparing the Sunday list with their December 3, 2023 Sunday Color Comics Supplement it appears For Better or For Worse, JumpStart*, Non Sequitur, Luann*, Baldo*, Frank and Ernest, and The Born Loser have gained Sunday slots. JumpStart, Luann, and Baldo were already appearing on the weekday comics pages and will continue to do so.

Losing Sunday positions are Wizard of Id*, Lio, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, Speed Bump, Doonesbury, Hi and Lois*, Candorville, Curtis*, and Mutts* (asterisked titles retain their daily appearances).

The dailies’ (seen below from December 1, 2023) losses and gains:

Added to the daily roster are For Better or For Worse, Non Sequitur, Frank and Ernest, The Born Loser, Close to Home, The Argyle Sweater, Shoe, and The Lockhorns.

Getting the boot are Get Fuzzy, Lio, Doonesbury, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, Rex Morgan, Speed Bump, Off the Mark, Candorville, and Bizarro.

Big Indy Star winners are For Better or For Worse, Non Sequitur, Frank and Ernest, and The Born Loser as they were added to both the Sunday And daily editions.

The big losers, losing both Sunday and daily positions, are Lio, Doonesbury, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, Speed Bump, and Candorville.

Aside: it remains to be seen if The Lockhorns, now with Andrews McMeel remains part of that group six King Features comics. There’s no reason for papers not to carry it, but it must irk KFS execs a bit that they put a (now) AMS feature as part of one of their groups.

9 thoughts on “Gannett’s Clarion Ledger Changes Comics – Updated with Indianapolis Star Changes

  1. How does any self-respecting journalist get away with writing a headline that kowtowing to edicts from McPaper Incorporated has anything to do with “reader input”?

  2. How the heck can the Indy Star drop Sunday Doonesbury and keep the daily? The Sunday strip is the only one that Trudeau is currently drawing! Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

    1. At least Indy got rid of rerun abused 7 days a week since 2019 Get Fuzzy.

      I wonder if the Gannett owned Milwaukee (wisconsin) Journal-Sentinel and/or Jacksonville Florida Times-Union as part of the Gannet comic strip 34 package reinstated classic Peanuts strips to their comics pages by now?

  3. So sad that the Clarion-Ledger loses Judge Parker and Mark Trail and the Star Rex Morgan, the last bastions of story strips in their respective papers. This kind of nonsense is hardly helpful to their continued existence. (My own local papers completely dumped the genre over a decade ago.) Anyone know of a paper carrying more than two (before or after Gannett got at ’em)?

  4. I can’t find any info about “Sit Tight” either. A misprint, perhaps? About the rest of it, as that Brown kid would say, “Aaauuuuggghhh!”

    1. Yeah, gotta be a misprint. I checked a few random samples of The Clarion Ledger from late 2023 and found no such feature in the daily or Sunday editions.
      They also note that Dennis the Menace will be “added” to the Sunday pages when it will be “remaining.”

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