Central Press Association

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Central Press Association
Industry Print syndication
Fate absorbed into King Features Syndicate
Founded 1910; 108 years ago (1910)
Founder Virgil Venice McNitt
Defunct 1971; 47 years ago (1971)
Headquarters Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Key people
Frank McLearn
Murray Rosenblatt
Products features, columns, comic strips, photographs
Owners Virgil Venice McNitt (1910–1930)
King Features Syndicate (1930–1971)

The Central Press Association was American newspaper syndication company based in Cleveland, Ohio. It was in business from 1910 to 1971. At its peak, the Central Press supplied features, columns, comic strips, and photographs to more than 400 newspapers and 12 million daily readers.


Virgil Venice McNitt (1881–1964), the managing editor of the Cleveland Press, founded the Central Press Association in Cleveland in 1910.[1][2] In 1912, McNitt acquired the Chicago-based North American Press Syndicate and merged it into the Central Press.[1][3] That same year, McNitt entered into arrangements to publish works authored by William Jennings Bryan and Jane Addams. He hired Bryan to cover the 1912 Republican and Democratic National Conventions for the Central Press.[1][4][5] He also made a deal with Addams to circulate her Progressive Party Platforms to newspaper across the country.[6]

In 1920, McNitt founded a separate, New York City-based Central Press Association, which was soon absorbed by his new McNaught Syndicate.[7]

By 1925, the original Central Press's features had 12 million daily readers and was the largest newspaper picture service in the United States.[8] In 1927, the Central Press also took over the Editors Feature Service.[9][7]

Virgil McNitt remained the president and general manager of the Central Press from its founding in 1910 until 1930, when he sold the service to King Features Syndicate, part of the Hearst newspaper syndicate, which retained the Central Press as a separate division. Frank McLearn was managing editor of the Central Press at the time of the sale, eventually becoming president and general manager of King Features Syndicate.[10]

Murray Rosenblatt was the managing editor of the Central Press from 1946 to 1961.[11]

The Central Press Association continued to operate as a separate division specializing in producing material for small-town newspapers[12] until ceasing operations in 1971.[13]

Syndicated properties[edit]


  • "Diet and Health," by Lulu Hunt Peters
  • Dr. Gary C. Myers' psychology series
  • "Beauty" by Madame Rubinstein
  • Jess Cargill editorial cartoons
  • "Hocus Pocus," by Wil Davey
  • "News Notes From Movieland" (syndicated Sunday column), by Daisy Dean (pseudonym); ran from January 1916 to about March 1936 (with Dean as editor), and to about June 27, 1936 (with no editor listed)


  • Among Us Girls, by Paul Robinson
  • Big Sister, by Les Forgrave (c. 1928–1954)
  • Brick Bradford by William Ritt and Clarence Gray (1933–1971; continued by King Features until 1987)
  • Etta Kett, by Paul Robinson (1927–1937; continued by King Features until Nov. 23, 1974) — taken over from Putnam Syndicate, where it originated Dec. 1925[14]
  • Goofey Movies, by Fred Neher
  • High Pressure Pete, by George Swanson (1927-1937)[15]
  • Humorous Slants on Humanity, by Clifford McBride
  • Muggs McGinnis, (later named Muggs and Skeeter) by Wally Bishop (1927–1971; continued by King Features until 1974)
  • Old Home Town, by Lee W. Stanley (January 3, 1923–1966)[16]
  • Sport Side-Lights, by Jack Sords

Sports writers[edit]


  • "The Way of the World" by Grove Patterson
  • "Who's Who"
  • "Timely Views"
  • "The Grab Bag"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Virgil V. M'Nitt Journalist Dies" (PDF). The New York Times. June 16, 1964.
  2. ^ Simpson, James Herver; McNitt, Frank (2003). Navaho Expedition. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. lxxxi. ISBN 978-0-8061-3570-0.
  3. ^ Mark S. Monmonier (1989). Maps With the News: The Development of American Journalistic Cartography. University of Chicago Press. p. 83. ISBN 0-226-53411-1.
  4. ^ William Jennings Bryan (September 23, 1912). "THE TAFT-ROOSEVELT FEUD: Commoner Analyzes The Situation In The Republican Party And Shows The Causes Which Brought It About". The Sun, Baltimore, Md.
  5. ^ William Jennings Bryan (October 7, 1912). "Bryan Says Both Taft and Roosevelt Cloud Tariff Issue". Chicago Daily Tribune.
  6. ^ Katherine Joslin (2004). Jane Addams: A Writer's Life. University of Illinois Press. p. 137. ISBN 0-252-02923-2.
  7. ^ a b Watson, Elmo Scott. "CHAPTER VIII: Recent Developments in Syndicate History 1921-1935," 'History of Newspaper Syndicates. Archived at Stripper's Guide.
  8. ^ "Press Manager Surprised By Developments". The Evening Independent. January 16, 1925.
  9. ^ Elmo Scott Watson (1936). A history of newspaper syndicates in the United States, 1865-1935. Watson. p. 66.
  10. ^ "Frank McLearn, of King Features" (PDF). The New York Times. May 25, 1969.
  11. ^ "Murray Rosenblatt" (PDF). The New York Times. June 10, 1961.
  12. ^ Ron Goulart, "The 30s – Boomtime for SF Heroes". Starlog magazine, January 1981 (pp. 31–35).
  13. ^ "Walter Johns". The Nevada Daily Mail. August 27, 2002.
  14. ^ Robinson entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Oct. 14, 2018.
  15. ^ Swanson entry, Lambiek Comiclopedia. Accessed Oct. 14, 2018.
  16. ^ Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Lee Stanley, by Alex Jay, at Stripper's Guide; published April 15, 2014; retrieved August 17, 2015