United Media

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United Media
United Media Enterprises
Print syndication
Fatemerged into Universal Uclick
Founded1978; 40 years ago (1978), as the merger of United Features and NEA
Defunct2011; 7 years ago (2011)
HeadquartersUnited States, Chicago
Serviceseditorial columns and comic strips
ParentE. W. Scripps Company
DivisionsNewspaper Enterprise Association (est. 1902)
United Feature Syndicate (est. 1919)

United Media was a large editorial column and comic strip newspaper syndication service based in the United States, owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, that operated from 1978 to 2011. It syndicated 150 comics and editorial columns worldwide. Its core businesses were the United Feature Syndicate and the Newspaper Enterprise Association.


E. W. Scripps started his newspaper career in the 1885, and owned 22 newspapers by 1910. In 1897, he created two companies, the Scripps-McRae Press Association and the Scripps News Association. In 1907, he combined a number of news providers into United Press Associations as a rival to Associated Press.

On June 2, 1902, the new Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), based in Cleveland, Ohio, started as a news report service for different Scripps-owned newspapers. It started selling content to non-Scripps owned newspapers in 1907, and by 1909, it became a more general syndicate, offering comics, pictures and features as well.[1] At that time, it had some 100 features available.[2]

United Feature Syndicate was formed in 1919.[3][4] In March 1930, United Features acquired the Metropolitan Newspaper Service (established in 1919 by Metropolitan Magazine, and later affiliated with the Bell Syndicate).[2] And in late February 1931, Scripps acquired the New York World, which controlled the syndication arms of the Pulitzer company: World Feature Service[2] and Press Publishing Co.[4] (which unlike other syndicates were owned by the paper rather than being separate entities). An April 1933 article in Fortune described United Feature as one of the "Big Four" American syndicates (along with King Features Syndicate, Chicago Tribune Syndicate, and the Bell Syndicate).[5] United Features and NEA both became successful distributors of newspaper comics in the 1930s.[6]

In 1972, United Features Syndicate acquired and absorbed the North American Newspaper Alliance and the Bell-McClure Syndicate into its operations.[7]

In May 1978 Scripps merged United Features and NEA to form United Media Enterprises.[8][9]

In 1994, Jim Davis's company, Paws, Inc., purchased the rights to Garfield (including the strips from 1978 to 1993) from United Feature. The strip is currently distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, while rights for the strip remain with Paws.

On June 3, 2010, United Media sold their licensing arm, along with the rights to Peanuts, to Iconix Brand Group.[10][11]

On February 24, 2011, United Media struck a distribution deal with Universal Uclick (now known as Andrews McMeel Syndication) for syndication of the company's 150 comic strip and news features, which became effective on June 1 of that year.[12][13] Of the more than 40 comic strips United Media transferred to Universal Uclick, about 75% of them were United Features strips (as opposed to Newspaper Enterprise Association strips).

While United Media effectively ceased to exist,[14] Scripps still maintains copyrights and intellectual property rights.[15][16]

Syndicated comic strips before June 1, 2011[edit]

Syndicated editorial cartoons[edit]

Web features[edit]

These are published on GoComics:

Syndicated columns[edit]

Syndicated puzzles[edit]

Licensed properties[edit]


  1. ^ Monmonier, Mark S. (1989). Maps with the news: the development of American journalistic cartography. University of Chicago Press. pp. 80–83. ISBN 978-0-226-53411-4. Retrieved August 28, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Hudson, Frederick; McClung Lee, Alfred (2000). American journalism, 1690–1940, Volume 4. Luther Mott, Frank. Routledge. pp. 589–590. ISBN 978-0-415-22892-3. Retrieved August 28, 2009.
  3. ^ Booker, M. Keith. "United Feature Syndicate," in Comics through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas (ABC-CLIO, 2014), p. 399.
  4. ^ a b "United Feature Syndicate Buys Metropolitan Service From Elser: Both Firms Will Retain Separate Identities, With Elser Remaining as Vice-President — Monte Bourjaily to Direct Both Organizations," Editor & Publisher (March 15, 1930). Archived at "News of Yore 1930: Another Syndicate Gobbled," Stripper's Guide (May 4, 2010).
  5. ^ Jeet Heer, "Crane's Great Gamble", in Roy Crane, Buz Sawyer: 1, The War in the Pacific. Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics Books, 2011. ISBN 9781606993620
  6. ^ Ron Goulart, The Adventurous Decade. Arlington House, New Rochelle, N.Y. 1975. ISBN 9780870002526 (p. 26-7,93-5).
  7. ^ Astor, Dave. "Goldberg To Retire From United Media," Editor & Publisher (December 17, 2001): "The executive joined United in 1972 when it bought Bell McClure Syndicate and North American Newspaper Alliance, where Goldberg was president."
  8. ^ "News Features Services Merge As United Media". United Press International. May 19, 1978. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  9. ^ "United Features consolidates," The Comics Journal #44 (Jan. 1979), p. 17.
  10. ^ Inc., Iconix Brand Group,. "Iconix Brand Group Closes Acquisition of Peanuts". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "Iconix Forms Peanuts Worldwide - License! Global". www.licensemag.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  12. ^ Universal Uclick to Provide Syndicate Services for United Media, PR Newswire, February 24, 2011.
  13. ^ United Media Outsources Content to Universal Uclick[permanent dead link], Editor & Publisher, April 29, 2011.[dead link]
  14. ^ Cavna, Michael (July 1, 2011). "RIP, UNITED MEDIA: A century-old syndicate closes its historic doors". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Universal Uclick to Provide Syndicate Services for United Media, PR Newswire, February 24, 2011. Accessed February 24, 2011.
  16. ^ [1][permanent dead link], Editor & Publisher, April 29, 2011. Accessed April 29, 2011.
  17. ^ Gardner, Alan. "FIRST LOOK AT SIGNE WILKINSON’S “FAMILY TREE," The Daily Cartoonist (December 3, 2007).
  18. ^ Astor, Dave. "Comic Creator and ‘Cartoonist Profiles’ Editor Jud Hurd Dies," Editor & Publisher (September 19, 2005).
  19. ^ E&P Staff. "‘World of Wonder’ Celebrates a Decade in Syndication," Editor & Publisher (September 2, 2010).

External links[edit]