Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

January 22, 2014

Missed It: Cartoonist Cal Grondahl Lost His Staff Position

imageI totally and completely missed that the cartoonist Cal Grondahl, one of the elder statesmen in that community, lost his staff position about ten days ago. Grondahl was a much-liked cartoonist by his peers and had apparently been with the Ogden Standard-Examiner since 1986.

The Standard-Examiner is definitely a smaller newspaper to still have had a staffed cartoonist at this point, although even at its present circulation figures would not have been a surprisingly small paper to have a full-time cartoonist a generation ago. It's worth noting that in the cases of many cartoonists losing their jobs in the last 10 to 15 years it seems less about the bottom-line itself but the declining nature of that bottom-line and the instability that has settled into a business that used to see near-guaranteed profit margins year-in and year-out.

Grondahl was let go with a small number of other staffers.

In his early sixties, Grondahl subsequently announced that he would be freelancing for his former employer and apparently even doing some of that work in-house -- at a freelander's rate -- until his home studio is set up. We wish him the best. The changing culture for newspapers is a heartbreaking circumstance for those that have made their living there, and those that value that particular avenue of expression for whatever reason. It's hard for me to think that we wouldn't be better off as a culture with more staffed positions rather than fewer.
posted 2:05 am PST | Permalink

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