‘NY Times’ Offering 550 Cartoonists

By: Dave Astor

The New York Times Syndicate went from 0 to 550 cartoonists on July 1.

That’s because the NYTS inked an agreement to represent CartoonArts International (CAI), whose roster includes 550 artists from more than 75 countries.

“They have a very strong network of excellent cartoonists and illustrators,” said Gloria Brown Anderson, vice president for international and editorial development in the news services division of The New York Times newspaper, during an E&P Online interview. “When the news around the world is as dramatic as it is today, there’s certainly a need for this type of material. The time is right.”

NYTS Managing Editor Michael Oricchio called CAI’s service “unique.”

Anderson added that NYTS is mostly text-oriented — though it has added more visuals such as photos in recent years — so CAI “fills a gap in our service.”

Jerry Robinson, president of the 25-year-old CAI and its Cartoonists & Writers Syndicate subsidiary, said not competing against other NYTS-represented cartoons was one factor that made the deal appealing. He added that he has liked and admired Anderson for years, and that NYTS has a strong reputation for its content and marketing efforts. “We had taken our business as far as we could go ourselves,” said Robinson, who has traveled to 43 countries over the years to meet with artists and sell CAI content. “We needed the backing of a large syndicate. We feel our features will dramatically increase in exposure and clients with the Times.”

CAI currently has “several hundred” clients, according to Jens Robinson, vice president and editor. “We are delighted to be creating new opportunities for our cartoonists,” he said of the deal, which NYTS and CAI executives had discussed over a number of years.

NYTS is marketing CAI to domestic and international clients in four categories:

* “Views of the World,” a daily cartoon plus a weekly collection of five additional cartoons from around the globe. Also available are regional “Views” for Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Mideast, and the U.S./Canada. “Views” is offered in Spanish, too.

* “Business Views,” which includes 12 cartoons a week on business and the economy, and three “BizWit” humor panels on corporate culture and the workplace.

* “Comment & Caricature,” consisting of 20 caricatures of international notables per month, plus four topical illustrations a week — including an ecology cartoon.

* Four or five editorial cartoons a week by Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher of The Sun in Baltimore and The Economist magazine of London.

There’s also access to CAI’s archive of cartoons dating back 20 years.

In addition to founding CAI, Jerry Robinson is a comics historian and cartoonist whose credits include creating the Joker character of “Batman” fame and serving as past president of both the National Cartoonists Society and Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

NYTS distributes 70-plus features to 2,000 clients worldwide. Its sibling operation, the New York Times News Service, has more than 650 clients.


Et cetera …

“Annie’s Mailbox,” the advice column by former Ann Landers assistants Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, is now receiving about 10,000 letters and e-mails a week. This is as much mail as the late Landers received, according to Creators Syndicate. And, surprisingly, about 60% of the correspondence is from men. July 28 is the first anniversary of “Annie’s Mailbox,” which appears in more than 700 papers.

A columnist was the subject of a column when Ron Wiggins of The Palm Beach Post in Florida wrote about Ray Hanania of Creators Syndicate. Hanania (E&P Online, Aug. 21, 2002) is a serious Op-Ed columnist as well as a comedian whose stand-up material includes jokes about being a Palestinian American married to a Jewish woman. The Creators writer spoke at last month’s National Society of Newspaper Columnists conference in Tucson, Ariz.

“9 Chickweed Lane” reaches its 10th anniversary on July 12. The comic — by Brooke McEldowney of United Feature Syndicate — stars a single mother, her adolescent daughter, a grandmother, and a cat. McEldowney started a second strip in 2002. “Pibgorn” (on http://www.comics.com) focuses on a “fairy heroine.” The cartoonist has also been a professional violinist and music critic.

Daniel Sneider is writing a foreign-affairs column for Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services. He’s the former national/foreign editor of the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News. Prior to that, Sneider was Moscow bureau chief and Tokyo correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor.

The Mobile (Ala.) Register reinstated Universal Press Syndicate’s “Wonderword” puzzle after several hundred readers protested its cancellation.

The Kid Scoop syndicate (http://www.kidscoop.com), Warner Bros., and the National Fatherhood Initiative announced two newspaper winners of the first “Golden Dad” essay/”Draw Your Dad” art contests. The Free Press of Kinston, N.C., and The Lima (Ohio) News will split the $1,000 Newspapers in Education award for their NIE programs.

“Capital Connections” columnist Karen Feld (http://www.karenfeld.com) won five first-place Capital Press Women awards.

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