You wouldn’t have known it by visiting this Web site, but last week was very eventful. There is more change coming in the world of newspaper comics. United Media, the organization that distributes A&J and many other comic strips, the umbrella organization that encompasses the two venerable syndicates United Feature Syndicate and Newspaper Enterprise Alliance (NEA), announced on Thursday that it will, in effect, close its doors.
We cartoonists, the “talent,” were notified Thursday in a letter from Syndicate Vice President Lisa Wilson that “EW Scripps has agreed to have Universal UClick provide syndication services for United Media’s 150 features and comics.” EW Scripps is the corporate parent of UM. Simultaneously, EW Scripps sent out a press release.
No, the comic strips will not go away. Newspaper readers should notice nothing. Even we cartoonists might experience little disruption, at least at first. I haven’t been told, but I think it’s a safe assumption that comics.com, the UM Web site, will be discontinued, and UM cartoons will migrate to the Universal UClick site. I do know the syndicate office on Madison Ave. in New York will be shuttered, and my friends and colleagues there who have suffered me for years and in the process have dependably passed my work along to you will be out of a job.
Now, you know about as much as I do. I will keep you posted.