Sunday, August 22, 2004

The case of the missing comic strips: The New York Times looks at moves by newspapers across the country to cut some of their comics to try to combat sagging ad revenues and rising paper costs. Here's Dilbert creator Scott Adams:

“I think newspapers need some percentage of attraction to young readers to get them interested, get them hooked, get them off the Internet. The comics page is their portal. And right now, they risk having no portal.”

I've worked at a daily newspaper that dropped some comic strips while shrinking others; reader response isn't pretty. Don't think anyone could possibly read -- let alone enjoy -- Mary Worth? Leave it out of the paper one day, and see how many angry phone calls, letters and emails you get. Heck, some devotees will even show up at your office. The only greater offense, I think, is cutting the bridge column. Do that and you sign your own death warrant.