It Looks Like Three More Newspapers Are Losing Staff Cartoonists

By: Dave Astor

The ranks of staff editorial cartoonists are continuing to shrink as part of recently announced layoffs.

Don Wright has accepted a buyout from Florida’s Palm Beach Post, according to Broward-Palm Beach New Times “Daily Pulp” blogger Bob Norman, who had obtained an internal Post memo.

Cartoonist/creative director Pat Crowley is also on the buyout list Norman posted. The Palm Beach paper is eliminating more than 300 positions in all.

Wright was a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner (1966 and 1980) with the now-defunct Miami News. The Tribune Media Services (TMS)-syndicated creator is also a five-time Pulitzer finalist (three times with the News and twice with the Post).

The Daily Cartoonist blogger Alan Gardner, who linked to Norman’s list, also wrote that editorial cartoonist Dick Adair is reportedly among the more than 50 people losing their jobs at the Honolulu Advertiser.

And Los Angeles Times writer James Rainey reported that The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., decided to turn the full-time position of longtime editorial cartoonist Dwane Powell into a part-time post.

But a source told E&P today that Powell resigned from the News & Observer effective Aug. 14 because of the decision to eliminate the full-time cartooning job — and that he will not freelance for the paper.

Powell, whose work is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate, could not be reached for comment today by E&P.

Rainey’s paper itself has been without a staff editorial cartoonist since late 2005, when the Times let go Michael Ramirez — who went on to win a 2008 Pulitzer with Investor’s Business Daily.

Norman’s blog post can be seen here.

Gardner’s blog can be seen here.

Rainey’s story can be seen here.

The Times piece also includes a cartoon by David Horsey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and TMS showing Barack Obama and John McCain drawing each other. The satirical caption: “If candidates could draw, we wouldn’t need editorial cartoonists.”

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