Central Press Purchased by King; To Be Operated as Separate Unit
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Staff and Features of Cleveland Organization to be Continued Intact — New York Plant Not Included In Purchase — Eichel Shifted to West as Editor
King Features Syndicate, Inc. has purchased Central Press Association and will start operating it as a unit of its organization March 1, it was announced this week by J.V. Connolly, president and general manager of the Hearst feature service. The price was not revealed. The purchase included all features and property controlled by the Cleveland organization with the exception of its New York mechanical plant. Mat making and distribution from New York will be handled through the Hearst production unit.
The Central Press staff will remain unchanged, Mr. Connolly told Editor & Publisher. Farris Flint will continue as business manager; Leslie Eichel will be transferred from New York to Cleveland as editor; and Russell Scott will retain the title of art director. All staff writers and artists will remain on the list and no features will be discontinued, according to Mr. Connolly. It is planned, instead, to add new names to the schedule. The present budget will be continued to all clients of Central Press, but none of them will be sent or transferred to Hearst newspapers, the general manager explained.
“We have purchased Central Press outright,” Mr. Connolly said, “because we believe we have the proper facilities to operate the organization successfully in conjunction with King Features. We are not disturbing Central Press in any way. The staff will remain the same and the features will continue unchanged.”
An advantage to Central of the new arrangement Mr. Connolly pointed out, lies in the fact that it will have the benefit of an allied picture service for its daily news photo page, through International News Photos operated in conjunction with King Features, whereas formerly it had no service of its own. It has not yet been decided whether the picture page will be changed to contain only International photos, Editor & Publisher was told.
J.D. Gortatowsky, business manager of King Features, in commenting on the transaction, made the following statement:
“Central Press now comes into possession of new resources for creating a most complete news mat service through its direct affiliation with International News Photos. It will also enjoy the benefits of a direct tie-up with all the King Features’ bureaus, reaching from coast to coast, and will command at all times pictures and news mats which will have the quickest transmission to member newspapers.
“New features will be added to strengthen the service and to make it an outstanding budget in newspaper history.”
V.V. McNitt, president of Central Press, told Editor & Publisher that, although several offers had been received from time to time, it was not until King Features came into the scene that any such proposition was seriously considered.
“In becoming linked to King Features we are thus maintaining every one of our deep obligations to our clients,” he declared.
“In retiring from Central Press, let me express my deep gratitude and sense of obligation to the newspaper editors and publishers who have been with me through thick and thin and have made our success possible.”
The Central Press schedule includes a regular news mat service and among other features, the following: “Diet and Health,” by Lulu Hunt Peters, Dr. Gary C. Myers’ psychology series; “Beauty” by Madame Rubinstein; Jess Cargill’s editorial cartoons.
The comics include “Etta Kett” by Paul Robinson; “Old Home Town” by Lee Stanley; “High Pressure Pete” by George Swanson; “Muggs McGinnis” by Wally Bishop; “Goofey Movies” by Fred Neher; “Big Sister” by Les Forgrave; “Sport Side-Lights” by Jack Sords; “Humorous Slants on Humanity” by Clifford McBride, and “Among Us Girls” by Paul Robinson.
The sports features include stories by William H. Ritt and contributions from Sords, Al Winfield and Norman E. Brown. The editorial page units include “The Way of the World,” daily editorials by Grove Patterson, editor of the Toledo Blade; “Who’s Who,” “Timely Views,” “The Grab Bag” and Wil Davey’s humorous “Hocus Pocus” column. A nuumber of other features are also included.
Central Press was founded 20 years ago and in August 1929 acquired control of Johnson Features and Editors’ Feature Service. At the start of 1929 it expanded with construction of a mechanical production plant in New York, and Mr. Eichel was elected president of a new company, Central Press Association of New York, Inc., formed to operate this unit.