|Formerly||United Media Enterprises|
|Fate||Merged into Universal Uclick|
|Founded||1978, as the merger of United Features and NEA|
|Services||editorial columns and comic strips|
|Parent||E. W. Scripps Company|
|Divisions||Newspaper 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. At that time, it had some 100 features available.
United Feature Syndicate was formed in 1919. It became a dominant player in the syndication market in the early 1930s. In March 1930, United Features acquired the Metropolitan Newspaper Service (ostensibly from the Bell Syndicate). And in late February 1931, Scripps acquired the New York World, which controlled the syndication arms of the Pulitzer company: World Feature Service and Press Publishing Co. (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). United Features and NEA both became successful distributors of newspaper comics in the 1930s.
In 1992, United Media donated the Robert Roy Metz Collection of 83,034 original cartoons by 113 cartoonists to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.
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 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. 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, Scripps still maintains copyrights and intellectual property rights.
Syndicated comic strips before June 1, 2011
Newspaper Enterprise Association
- Alley Oop originally by V. T. Hamlin (launched 1932)
- Arlo and Janis by Jimmy Johnson (launched 1985)
- Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce (launched 1991)
- The Born Loser by Art Sansom (launched 1965)
- Drabble by Kevin Fagan(launched 1979)
- Frank and Ernest originally by Bob Thaves (launched 1972)
- The Grizzwells by Bill Schorr (launched 1987)
- Kit 'n' Carlyle by Larry Wright (1980–2015)
- Moderately Confused by Jeff Stahler (launched 2003)
- Shortcuts by Jeff Harris (launched August 30, 1999)
- Soup to Nutz by Rick Stromoski (2000–2018)
United Feature Syndicate
- 9 Chickweed Lane by Brooke McEldowney (launched 1993)
- Betty by Gary Delainey and Gerry Rasmussen (launched 1991)
- Brevity originally by Guy Endore-Kaiser and Rodd Perr (launched 2005)
- The Buckets originally by Scott Stantis (launched 1994) — picked up from Tribune Media Services
- Cow and Boy by Mark Leiknes (2006–2012)
- F Minus by Tony Carrillo (launched 2006)
- Family Tree by Signe Wilkinson (January 1, 2008 – August 27, 2011)
- Ferd'nand by Henning Dahl Mikkelsen (1937–2012)
- Frazz by Jef Mallett (launched 2001)
- Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley (launched 1999)
- Graffiti by Gene Mora (launched May 3, 2011)
- Grand Avenue originally by Mike Thompson (launched 1999)
- Health Capsules originally by Dr. Michael Petti and Jud Hurd; then by Bron Smith (launched 1961)
- Herman by Jim Unger (1975–1992, 1997–2012)
- Jane's World by Paige Braddock (entered syndication April 1, 2002)
- Jump Start by Robb Armstrong (launched 1989)
- KidCity by Steve McGarry (launched 2011) — now known as KidTown
- KidSpot by Dan Thompson (launched May 3, 2011)
- The Knight Life by Keith Knight (launched 2008)
- Lola by Todd Clark (launched 1999) — came over from Tribune Media Services
- Luann by Greg Evans (launched 1985) — came over from North America Syndicate
- Marmaduke originally by Brad Anderson (launched 1954) – came over from National Newspaper Syndicate in c. 1970
- Monty by Jim Meddick (launched 1985) — originally titled Robotman
- Nancy originally by Ernie Bushmiller (launched 1938)
- Off the Mark by Mark Parisi (launched 1987)
- Over the Hedge by Michael Fry & by T. Lewis (launched 1995)
- Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis (launched 2001)
- Prickly City by Scott Stantis (launched 2004)
- Reality Check by Dave Whamond (launched 1995)
- Rip Haywire by Dan Thompson (launched 2009)
- Ripley's Believe It or Not! (launched 1918) — came over from King Features Syndicate
- Rose Is Rose by Pat Brady (launched 1984)
- Rudy Park by Theron Heir and Darrin Bell (2001–c. 2011; moved to Washington Post Writers Group where it concluded in 2018)
- Secret Asian Man by Tak Toyoshima (entered syndication July 16, 2007)
- Tarzan originally by Hal Foster (launched 1929)
- Uncle Art's Funland originally by Art Nugent (launched 1933) — came over from Bell-McClure Syndicate
- Working Daze written by John Zakour (launched 2001)
- World of Wonder by Laurie Triefeldt (launched 2000)
Syndicated editorial cartoons
- Robert Ariail
- Matt Bors
- Bill Day
- Jerry Holbert
- Mike Lester
- Henry Payne
- Rob Rogers
- Bill Schorr
- Jeff Stahler
- Ed Stein
Webcomics and web animations
- Barkeater Lake by Corey Pandolph (early 2004 – January 5, 2007)
- Boy on a Stick and Slither by Steven L. Cloud (April 2007 – February 2009)
- Doctor Fun by David Farley (1995–2003)
- Jane's World by Paige Braddock (launched 2001; entered print syndication in 2002)
- Little Dee by Christopher Baldwin (2006–c. 2007)
- Minimum Security by Stephanie McMillan (launched 2007)
- Mr. Futz (2001)
- Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis (launched 2000; entered print syndication in late 2001)
- Pibgorn by Brooke McEldowney (launched March 11, 2002)
- Working Daze originally by John Zakour and Andre Noel (launched 2001; eventually became print syndicated)
- A+ Advice for Parents Helping Your Child Succeed in School by Leanna Landsmann
- The Aces on Bridge by Bobby Wolff
- Among Friends by Tad Bartimus
- Animal Doctor by Michael Fox, D.V.M.
- Ask Mr. Know-It-All by Gary Lee Clothier
- Astro-Graph by Bernice Bede Osol
- From Consumer Reports
- Cook Well, Eat Well by Dana Carpender
- Desperation Dinners by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross (columnist)
- Eat in and Save by Marialisa Calta
- First Aid for the Ailing House by Henri de Marne
- Frugal Living by Sara Noel
- Dr. Gott by Peter Gott
- Harper's Magazine
- The Harvard Medical School Adviser
- The Housing Scene by Lew Sichelman
- Dick Kleiner
- Morton Kondracke
- Donald Lambro
- Kathryn Jean Lopez
- Gene Lyons
- Harvey Mackay
- Mary Mitchell
- Miss Manners by Judith Martin
- NEA Bridge by Phillip Alder
- The New Republic
- NextSteps by Jan L. Warner and Jan K. Collins
- On Nutrition by Ed Blonz
- On Religion by Terry Mattingly
- Parent-to-Parent by Betsy Flagler
- Parenting by the staff of Parenting Magazine
- Cokie Roberts and Steven V. Roberts
- Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole
- Smart Money by Bruce Williams
- Soap Opera Review by Nancy Johnson (columnist)
- Sweet Land of Liberty by Nat Hentoff
- Talking Money with Jean Chatzky
- The Village Idiot by Jim Mullen
- Tune in Tomorrow by Nancy Reichardt
- Tune in Tonight by Kevin McDonough
- Diana West
- Win, Lose & Drew
- World Almanac Databank
- You Be the Critic by Bob Habes
- Your Birthday by Stella Wilder
- Your Stars This Week by Stella Wilder
- Byron York
- 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.
- 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.
- Booker, M. Keith. "United Feature Syndicate," in Comics through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas (ABC-CLIO, 2014), p. 399.
- "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).
- Jeet Heer, "Crane's Great Gamble", in Roy Crane, Buz Sawyer: 1, The War in the Pacific. Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics Books, 2011. ISBN 9781606993620
- Ron Goulart, The Adventurous Decade. Arlington House, New Rochelle, N.Y. 1975. ISBN 9780870002526 (p. 26-7,93-5).
- Astor, Dave. "Goldberg To Retire From United Media," Archived December 7, 2017, at the Wayback Machine 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."
- "News Features Services Merge As United Media". United Press International. May 19, 1978. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
- "United Features consolidates," The Comics Journal #44 (Jan. 1979), p. 17.
- Inc., Iconix Brand Group. "Iconix Brand Group Closes Acquisition of Peanuts". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- "Iconix Forms Peanuts Worldwide - License! Global". www.licensemag.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- Scripps Howard News Service Will Close Down After 96 Years, Bloomberg News, November 13, 2013. Accessed April 5, 2015.
- Universal Uclick to Provide Syndicate Services for United Media, PR Newswire, February 24, 2011.
- "United Media Outsources Content to Universal Uclick,"[permanent dead link], Editor & Publisher (April 29, 2011).[dead link]
- Cavna, Michael (July 1, 2011). "RIP, UNITED MEDIA: A century-old syndicate closes its historic doors". The Washington Post.
- Universal Uclick to Provide Syndicate Services for United Media, PR Newswire, February 24, 2011. Accessed February 24, 2011.
- "United Media Outsources Content to Universal Uclick,"[permanent dead link] Editor & Publisher (April 29, 2011). Accessed April 29, 2011.[permanent dead link]
- MacDonald, Heidi. "Universal Uclick to syndicate United's comic strips," The Beat (February 24, 2011).
- Gardner, Alan. "FIRST LOOK AT SIGNE WILKINSON’S “FAMILY TREE," The Daily Cartoonist (December 3, 2007).
- Astor, Dave. "Comic Creator and ‘Cartoonist Profiles’ Editor Jud Hurd Dies," Archived November 13, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Editor & Publisher (September 19, 2005).
- McGarry entry, Lambiek's Comiclopedia. Accessed Dec. 21, 2018.
- E&P Staff. "‘World of Wonder’ Celebrates a Decade in Syndication," Archived November 10, 2018, at the Wayback Machine Editor & Publisher (September 2, 2010).
- "Boy on a Stick and Slither goes to Comics.com". Comics Beat. April 25, 2007.
- "Mr. Futz". Comics.com. United Media. Archived from the original on October 7, 2001. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
- Pastis, Stephan, Sgt. Piggy's Lonely Hearts Club Comic (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2004; ISBN 0-7407-4807-6), p.5: "Pearls was supposed to launch in newspapers on January 7, 2002. But just prior to the launch, the Washington Post bought the strip and wanted to start running it a week early. Thus, this week of strips [dated beginning 12/31] was quickly put together just for the Post, and this [12/31] strip became the first Pearls strip, published in exactly one paper".