As you may recall back in May, budget cuts at MLive reduced my cartoons from every Sunday paper to one Sunday per month. It was both disappointing and shortsighted — you’d think that newspaper owners would want more uniquely popular, original content, not less. Alas for me, budgets tend only to consider numbers, and the numbers say print revenue is not growing. But they do say that online revenue is growing.
So to create a measurable sample to prove the value of online cartoons, I continued to provide one cartoon per week (along with a supporting article) for free. These were posted every Saturday morning on MLive.com (as you know from the links I’ve been sending all summer). As far as my editors and I can tell, the experiment has been a success. (Again, alas for me, my editors are not the ones making budget decisions.)
The online metrics data are now available to those MLive folks who set the budgets. I have met with my managing editor, Todd Fettig, and loaded him up with compelling, financially sound reasons for paying me to provide weekly editorial cartoons both online and in print. I have also strongly encouraged him to include the thoughtful, persuasive emails many of you sent him back in May.
Todd is advocating my case. There is no specific deadline for results; I am hopeful for a spark of reason soon from within the corporate machinery. My only leverage:
- I am only drawing what I’m paid to draw. (No more free stuff)
- I am using my “not drawing” time to seek other cartooning opportunities.
- Any additional support you guys can provide. You can feel free to write Todd (firstname.lastname@example.org), but it might be more helpful to go up the chain and contact MLive President, Dan Gaydou:DGaydou@mlive.com. Or contact your local MLive newspaper:http://blog.mlive.com/mlive_contacts/newsrooms.html.
I continue to deeply appreciate your interest and support. Thank you!
Sincerely and respectfully,