'USA Today' Network Standardizes Its Comics Pages

Gannett newspapers will be standardizing their comics pages, although the exact extent is unclear.

Multiple newspapers have announced changes in their comics lineup. The Newport Daily and South Bend Tribune, to name two, both said the updated packages were based on reader surveys. 

However, The Daily Cartoonist issued a correction, walking back reporting that all USA Today Network publications will carry the same comics. 

“We are unifying our print comics package, but our comics may still vary by market,” Gannett wrote, correcting the earlier article in The Daily Cartoonist. “The majority of our publications will maintain a similar number of comics after the transition.”

Gannett also corrected the date, which the Daily Cartoonist had reported as Oct. 2. “While many of our publications will make the transition in October, others will be transitioning in January or later.”  



The Coloradoan reports, “Roughly two-thirds of USA Today Network's more than 200 publications will make the transition in October. Gannett Corp., Inc., which owns the USA Today Network, is making the changes in part to standardize and modernize its comics page offerings. 

Critics might wonder if the shift will result in more bland comics page. 

But the South Bend Tribune reports that its new comics package “will include strips by cartoonists of color, specifically 'Baldo' and two that already appear in the Tribune: 'Jump Start' and 'Crabgrass'."

The Tribune will "continue running 'Baby Blues' and 'Zits'," which were co-created by cartoonist Jerry Scott, who grew up in the South Bend region and developed an interest in comic strips while delivering the Tribune when he was a young boy.”

The statement adds that the “new additions to our weekday and Sunday lineups are: 'Hagar the Horrible,' 'Dennis the Menace,' 'Baldo' and 'Frank & Ernest.' 'The Born Loser,' which currently runs only on Sundays, will join our weekday lineup.”

In addition, the Tribune concludes, “The updated comics package will affect all newspapers within The USA Today Network. However, your current subscription rates will not change, as delivering the highest quality product to our subscribers is always our first priority. This change allows us to invest more in local journalism so that we can continue bringing you the types of stories that we know are important to you and your families.”"

Kristin Roberts, chief content officer, Gannett, stated, “Refreshing our comics provides a consistent and modern presentation for our audience while incorporating beloved favorites they love,” according to The Daily Cartoonist.    



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