Blondie and Dagwood, copyright King Features Syndicate.
Robin Washington, writing for the Duluth News Tribune, talks frankly about canceling the syndicated King Features' ‘Blondie’ comic strip, which the paper has carried since 1937.
Syndication is a perfectly fine business. What’s not fine is that the DNT is charged roughly twice as much for “Blondie” as for any other strip, and more than five times higher than some. The Sunday “Blondie” is billed at $62.01 per week. By contrast, “Hi and Lois” costs $32.22, and “Beetle Bailey” only $11.67. Both of those are also distributed by King.
It may sound like I’m penny-pinching, but automatic, recurring charges add up; think of your cable bill. Yearly, the Sunday “Blondie” alone comes out to $3,224.52, which could easily be allocated to other needs for the paper. (New digital emergency radio frequencies require us to buy a new police scanner that goes for $500.
Robin asked the salesman why the paper pays so much.
His answer? The DNT is a “legacy” subscriber, going back years (“Blondie” first appeared in the Duluth Herald and Sunday News Tribune in May 1937), and therefore subject to yearly price increases. In essence, our benefit for being a longtime customer is we get to pay more.The rest of the story, including both Robin and his assistant contacting King for over a year about this and not getting a response, is here.
Blondie will be replaced by Pearls Before Swine on Wednesday.
Hat tip to Jim Amash.