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Do funnies still make you laugh?

For decades the funny pages have been a staple of the daily newspaper, having become an almost indispensable component of Sunday mornings for some.

But as technology changes and the habits of newspaper readers continue to evolve, the place of comics as a staple of Americana may be doing that as well.

For newspapers in today’s economic and cultural climate, it is more important than ever to evaluate every dollar spent and ensure that resources are being used in a way that best serves the readers.

That’s certainly true of the comics, daily and Sunday, which are a costly component of the newspaper.

Many years ago a former publisher made the decision to significantly trim the number of cartoons that were featured daily. It wasn’t a very popular decision but was necessary at the time.

It is been nearly a decade since that change and now is a good time to reevaluate what we offer and what readers want.

So my question to you, readers of the newspaper’s printed editions, is simple: Do you read the comics pages in The Tribune?

That opens the door to a number of more complex questions.

If the answer is no, is there something that would change that? Would you if there were different cartoons featured? What ones do you like? What ones don’t you like? Would you prefer to view these online daily?

What about puzzles and games? These fall in the same category. Do you enjoy the crosswords? What about jumble, the cryptoquote and sudoku? Are these things you buy the newspaper for?

Along the same lines, how important are features like Dear Abby and daily horoscopes?

Your feedback is very important. We don’t have any specific changes in mind at this point but we want to ensure we are providing what readers want and spending our resources in ways that most benefit our community.

So, let me know about your reading habits.

Sometimes these staples of American culture have to change. And sometimes they don’t.

Ultimately, newspapers’ continued success — print and digital — in this new era will hinge upon how well we serve readers and potential readers.


Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCaldwell_IT.