I was saddened to learn that my buddy Steve Kelley, the editorial cartoonist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and a long-time contributor to Cagle.com, has become the latest staff cartoonist to lose his job. Steve was notified today that his position would be eliminated when the company switches to a three-day-a-week print production schedule in October.
All told, Advance Publications announced that it will cut about 600 jobs at the Times-Picayune and its newspapers in Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville, Ala.
Kelley is one of the funniest cartoonists in our profession. He’s personally funny too – he’s even been on The Tonight Show seven times. I’ve included a video interview I did with Steve back in 2009 during the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) convention in Seattle.
Kelley went to the Times-Picayune in 2002 after being fired by his first paper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, over an incident involving a cartoon that poked fun at teens in low-riding jeans by showing their butt cracks. At the time, Kelley told various television stations and the American Journalism Review that the paper accused him of trying to sneak the rejected cartoon into the paper.
Steve is also the co-creator of the popular comic strip “Dustin”, along with Florida Today political cartoonist Jeff Parker (whose cartoons I syndicate through Cagle Cartoons).