When Brian Duffy was let go and escorted out of The Des Moines Register after 25 years of award-winning front page cartoons, readers reacted by writing letters and canceling their newspaper subscriptions.
Cityview gossip columnist Civic Skinny even reported that since the announcement of Duffy’s dismissal, the paper has had 700 canceled subscriptions. At the newspaper's annual subscription rate of $208 ($17.39 a month), this means The Register has lost nearly $150,000 in annual revenue.
Laura Hollingsworth, the president and publisher of The Des Moines Register, spoke to Jason Hancock of the Iowa Independent about the decision to eliminate Duffy's position from the paper, and with it the century-long tradition of a front-page editorial cartoon.
"Brian did a tremendous job here for 25 years," Hollingsworth said.
"I can just tell you that the editorial cartoon along with 40 other things that were part of our tradition, we had to make a lot of decisions that encompassed thinking through all of those things."
For his part, Duffy has agreed to start doing cartoons with Des Moines alternative newsweekly Cityview, where he will have a weekly cartoon in the paper, ensuring his work continues to be seen by a Des Moines audience.
Cityview publisher Shane Goodman told WHOtv13 that "The Register's loss is our gain."
Brian Duffy is a Cagle.com cartoonist. View more of his cartoons here.