A distinctive art form is being steadily destroyed by people who look purely at revenue. It’s hard to say that an editorial cartoonist generates a certain amount of income for the newspaper, just as it is hard to say how much any single reporter or photographer does. But eliminating the cartoonist sends a message to readers: We are taking away something you value, something that makes your newspaper distinctive, something you cannot get anywhere else. We value your newspaper less, and you should too.
It’s a terrible message, and it comes at a price that may not be immediately apparent but will cost newspapers dearly in the long run.
But hey, they can afford Kathleen Parker and George Will’s syndication fees, so I’m sure all will be well after all.