Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Post-Landers Landscape

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Post-Landers Landscape

Article excerpt

Advice category could fragment somewhat after death of icon

When newspaper readers "wake up and smell the coffee" during the next few months, they might see a much different advice-column landscape.

With the June 22 death of Ann Landers, a syndication colossus is gone. She appeared in 1,200 newspapers, a huge total that never dipped -- even as her column neared the half-century mark. So what's going to happen to those 1,200 slots?

Creators Syndicate is hoping many papers like the three-in-one package it will distribute after the last Landers column runs July 27. The package includes the daily "Annie's Mailbox" column by longtime Landers assistants Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, the weekly "Dear Prudence" column Landers' daughter Margo Howard writes for the "Slate" online magazine, and a weekly "classic" Landers column. Creators President Richard Newcombe said many editors and readers requested the "classic" pieces.

"Dear Abby" already had added 35-plus clients to its 1,200-paper list as of Thursday -- a large total given that some clients in this era of one-paper markets run both Landers and "Abby," so "Abby" obviously can't get new business in those locales. …

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