By: Dave Astor
More Than 90% Will Use Past Installments Of The Comic
The appearance of the last original daily “Peanuts” strip yesterday sparked a huge outpouring of media coverage. But Charles Schulz’s comic will not be leaving newspapers.
At least 90% of the 2,600-plus “Peanuts” clients will carry reruns starting today, according to Lisa Klem Wilson, vice president of sales and marketing at United Media. She said the remaining 10% includes 21 papers who definitely dropped “Peanuts” and other clients that either are undecided or made a decision United is not aware of yet. Clients using the older strips ? which date back to 1974 ? say they will carry them anywhere from several weeks to indefinitely.
United’s reaction to the large rerun usage? “We’re delighted,” said Wilson, adding that this and the extensive press coverage Schulz’s retirement is receiving are an “amazing tribute” to “Peanuts” and its creator ? who ended his feature to focus on recovering from strokes and colon cancer.
One of the papers using reruns is the Houston Chronicle. “This is a very special situation because ‘Peanuts’ has had a longer, deeper impact on more generations of newspaper readers than any single feature,” said Assistant Managing Editor Susan Bischoff.
One of the papers dropping the comic is The Anniston (Ala.) Star. “This is a whole new century and millennium. We’re looking for something a little different,” said Features Editor Catherine Downing, whose paper is choosing, with the help of readers, a “Peanuts” successor from about a dozen strips.
Sunday reruns begin Feb. 20 ? less than eight months before what would have been the 50th anniversary of “Peanuts” on Oct. 2, 2000.
Dave Astor (email@example.com) is an associate editor for Editor & Publisher magazine.
For a more complete report on “Peanuts” rerun usage, see the Jan. 10 “Syndicate World” column on this site and the Jan. 10 edition of Editor & Publisher magazine.