The paper had previously planned to cut the popular cartoonist at the end of August, Davies told Facebook readers on August 12. But Fisch told E&P talks between Davies and the paper had been ongoing since then and a deal was struck to keep him on staff.
“I think it was a little premature,” Fisch said about previous reports that Davies was leaving. “He will continue to do work for the Journal News, and also through Gannett’s Content One,” Gannett’s new multi-platform distribution service.
Fisch would not say if Davies received a pay cut or raise or any other change to his salary to remain, but noted he will continue to do the same amount of work for the Journal News that he always did and will remain based in White Plains.
“He has a blend of compensation,” Fisch said. “His syndication income and his opportunity to expand through Content One.” Davies is syndicated through Tribune Media Services.
Davies told The Daily Cartoonist: “My paper looked down the cold and terrible barrel of not having an editorial cartoonist on staff and just couldn’t do it. The paper’s readers owe a big thanks to my editor Henry Freeman who quietly worked to ensure that my position was revived and ultimately kept alive during a particularly bruising round of downsizing in our newsroom.
“The clear message is that no matter how small a newspaper payroll needs to be in order for a paper to turn a profit, a decent staff cartoonist who connects with the audience is a smart part of that profit strategy. While I am of course personally relieved, my thoughts are with my talented and venerated colleagues who didn’t survive the cuts this week.” The Journal News cutbacks eliminated over 25% of the newsroom staff.
Davies told the Notebook: “The outpouring of support from the denizens of the editorial cartooning world was touching and a real boost. Another thing that I am now sure of is that sitting around waiting for the newspaper biz to get better is a nice wistful dream, but it’s not going to happen. As has been said before, we are all going to have to be as creative in seeking out remunerative paths as we are in our cartoons. Yes I am lucky. I have a job, but I don’t feel relaxed about it anymore. The good news is, a career in this line of work was never really easy, was it?”
—Source: Joe Strupp, E&P. JP Trostle contributed to this story