After 60 Years, ?Peanuts? to Change Syndicates

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By: E&P Staff

In a switch as incredible as an appearance by the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy and the “Peanuts” gang are getting a new home after six decades.

Beginning Feb. 26, 2011, “Peanuts” will move from its longtime home at United Feature Syndicate to the syndicate Universal Uclick, The Washington Post’s “Comic Riffs” blog reports.
 
Jean Schulz, wife of late “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz and the curator of his legacy, told Comic Riffs on Thursday that the switch to Universal “is a natural partnership for us. They already handle our books, they have a strong presence in the marketplace and they have a great reputation.”

The E.W. Scripps Co., United Feature Syndicate’s parent, struck a deal earlier this year to sell its United Media Licensing business to Iconix Brand Group for $175 million. This past summer, Scripps sold the “Peanuts” property to Peanuts Worldwide LLC, the joint venture of Iconix and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates.

Jean Schulz told Comic Riffs this year that for decades, a goal of her husband’s had been to regain the rights to “Peanuts,” something that had long rankled the strip’s creator. Schulz died in 2000 on the weekend this final original “Peanuts” strip ran.

The strip bowed on Oct, 2, 1950. Today, it is syndicated to more than 2,200 newspapers throughout the globe and its collected editions continue to be top sellers.
 
“We have enjoyed our long association with ‘Peanuts’ since the comic strip started on October 2, 1950, and we wish the Schulz family all the best for the future,” United Feature Syndicate said in news release first posted by Comic Riffs. “We value the incredible work ethic that Charles M. Schulz demonstrated creating Peanuts every day until he retired over 10 years ago.”
 
“We’re honored to be able to represent ‘Peanuts’ and its tradition of brilliance,” Universal Uclick President Lee Salem told Comic Riffs. “We believe the future of syndication — in print, online and in mobile — is especially promising for this timeless classic.”

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