Counterpoint Media Debuts, Gannett Thumbs Nose The Daily Cartoonist

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Counterpoint Media Debuts, Gannett Thumbs Nose

Counterpoint Licensing and Syndication (CL&S) debuted on June 1 with six editorial cartoonists. The five core cartoonists from the old Washington Post Writers Group (WPWG) each have a different way of crediting the Counterpoint syndicate.

Lisa Bensonwho has been a contributor to the original Counterpoint, continues after the switch with the same”Counterpoint.com” slug, using that credit for all her cartoons now.


© Lisa Benson

Tim Campbell was the only cartoonist to go with the Washington Post Writers Group official title of Washington Post News Service and Syndication and is the only cartoonist (so far) to go with Counterpoint’s syndication arm’s official name of Counterpoint Licensing and Syndication.

 
© Tim Campbell

Jeff Danziger, like most others, went with the tried and true Washington Post Writers Group in his old cartoons. With the new syndicate he is going with “Counterpoint Syndicate” which is almost what it says in the CL&S url.


© The Rutland Herald/Jeff Danziger

Jack Ohmanwho used to go with the Washington Post Writers Group notice (he hasn’t for a few months now) lists his current syndication service as “Counterpoint Media” in cartoons these days.

 
© The Sacramento Bee/Jack Ohman

Clay Bennett never listed WPWG and doesn’t list CL&S either.

 
© The Chattanooga Times Free Press/ Clay Bennett

So we have Counterpoint Licensing and Syndication, Counterpoint Media,
Counterpoint Syndicate, and Counterpoint.com, with nothing as an option.
(We haven’t seen a Pedro X. Molina cartoon from the new syndicate yet.)

We asked Counterpoint Captain Nick Anderson about the various credits:

Regarding the slug for Counterpoint, our parent organization is called Counterpoint Media and the syndication group is called Counterpoint Licensing and Syndication. In order to keep things simple, we’re planning to have all artists use Counterpoint Media moving forward.

As noted above Counterpoint took on the Washington Post syndication of those editorial cartoonists, the same week Gannett publicly proclaimed that all of their 230+ daily newspapers would no longer be using syndicated content, or, at most, rarely use outside material.

That is a blow to all the syndicates and cartoonists, but it seems a particular bat to the knee for the new Counterpoint syndicate startup.

Newspapers often contract with a single syndicate to supply opinion columns and cartoons to their editorial pages. My local daily, for instance, runs Creators Syndicate content to fill the editorial pages (or “Think” pages as they call them). The Gannett newspapers are (were) no different.

We don’t know how many Gannett papers subscribed to the old Washington Post Writers Group but there were, no doubt, a number of them. The Gannett newspaper to my immediate north carried WPWG columnists and cartoons. Some of the papers mentioned The Washington Post service in their notices.

The Fayetteville Observer:

We are ending our daily Opinion section in print editions, as part of changes throughout Gannett and the USA Today Network. This also signals the end of our partnership with The Washington Post News Service [emphasis added]which provided syndicated columns and editorial cartoons with a national focus.

The Alliance Review:

In an age when our newspapers are getting smaller and smaller, and Paying for syndicated content from such sources as The Washington Post is getting more and more expensive [emphasis added]it’s time to make a decision.

So, like our sister paper in Canton, and our other Gannett siblings, we’re making a change. We’ll be printing our lone opinion page, with our local editorial opinion on Wednesdays.

The Washington Post worked with Counterpoint so a smooth transition from the one syndicate to the other made it easy on the newspapers. Only to be hit with this. Opinion pages dropped to once or twice a week. Some are doing away with the section completely:

Today is the last day we will publish an opinion page in the Anderson Independent Mail print edition. (We will publish next week any letters and relevant columns we receive by Tuesday that are related to the June 14 primary elections.)

Since we had Nick Anderson “on the line” we asked about this also:

While we were disappointed to hear the news about Gannett, this is why we created Counterpoint in the first place—to explore ways to support editorial cartoonists that preserve the art form and the editorial independence of each artist. We see syndication as one avenue that can be just alongside other models. As with many others in the publishing industry, we strive to find a sustainable model that works for all parties involved.


© Nick Anderson (2018)

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