Field Newspaper Syndicate

The Field Newspaper Syndicate was a syndication service based in Chicago that operated independently from 1941 to 1984, for a good time under the name the Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate. The service was founded by Marshall Field III and was part of Field Enterprises. The syndicate was most well known for Steve Canyon, but also launched such popular, long-running strips as The Berrys, From 9 To 5, Rivets, and Rick O'Shay. Other features included the editorial cartoons of Bill Mauldin and Jacob Burck, and the "Ask Ann Landers" advice column.

Field Newspaper Syndicate
  • Chicago Sun Syndicate (1941–1944
  • Field Enterprises Syndicate (1944–c. 1950)
  • Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate (c. 1950–1967)
  • Publishers-Hall Syndicate (1967–1975)
  • News America Syndicate (1984–1986)
  • North America Syndicate (1986–1988)
IndustryPrint syndication
FoundedDecember 1941; 79 years ago (1941-12)
FounderMarshall Field III
Defunct1988; 33 years ago (1988)
Fatemerged into King Features (1988)
Area served
United States
Key people
Russ Stewart
Henry Baker
ProductsComic strips, newspaper columns, editorial cartoons


The Chicago Sun Syndicate was founded in December 1941, concurrent with the founding of Marshall Field III's Chicago Sun newspaper. Long-time syndication veteran Henry Baker was installed as manager.[1] Comic-strip historian Allan Holtz has written regarding the origins of the Field Syndicate and its relationship to the rest of the company:

Field . . . was a syndicate initially created by Marshall Field to sell features from his Chicago Sun newspaper. When Field started the Sun he found that Chicago was pretty much all sewed up with exclusive contracts on the better features. He resolved to purchase his own features and market them. Ironically, the Field Enterprises syndicate ended up being a better moneymaker than the Sun itself. It has been said that the flagship feature, Steve Canyon, was responsible for keeping the Sun afloat for many years.[2]

Field formed Field Enterprises in August 1944,[3] and the syndicate became known as Field Enterprises Syndicate. One of the first major strips syndicated by Field was the hugely popular Mutt and Jeff (first launched in 1907), which moved over from the Bell Syndicate-North American Newspaper Alliance. With the Chicago Sun and Chicago Daily Times merger in January 1948, the syndicate absorbed the Chicago Times Syndicate,[4] and installed its general manager, Russ Stewart, as head of Field Enterprises.[5]

At some point circa 1950, the Field Syndicate changed its name to the Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate.[6]

In 1963 Field Enterprises and New York Herald Tribune publisher John Hay Whitney acquired the Chicago-based Publishers Newspaper Syndicate,[7] merging syndication operations with the Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate, the New York Herald Tribune Syndicate, and the syndicate of the Chicago Daily News[8] (a newspaper that had been acquired by Field Enterprises in 1959).

In 1967, Field Enterprises acquired Robert M. Hall's Hall Syndicate, merging it with Publishers to form the Publishers-Hall Syndicate, and thus taking on distribution of such popular, long-running strips as Mary Worth, Steve Roper, Penny, Kerry Drake, Rex Morgan, M.D., Judge Parker, Miss Peach, B.C., and The Wizard of Id.

In 1975, syndication operations absorbed Publishers-Hall, and were renamed the Field Newspaper Syndicate,[9] taking on such strips as Dennis the Menace, Funky Winkerbean, Mark Trail, and Momma.

The operation was renamed News America Syndicate (NAS) in 1984, after the company was purchased by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.[10] Richard S. Newcombe (coming over from the Los Angeles Times Syndicate) was named President of NAS, which at that point was considered the third-most powerful syndicate, after King Features and United Media.[11] Hearst bought the syndicate in 1987 and renamed it North America Syndicate. The pending sale of NAS (which was first reported in October 1986),[12] prompted Newcombe to leave the company in January 1987 and, using financial backing from London-based publisher Robert Maxwell, form Creators Syndicate before the close of the NAS sale.[13][14] Creators Syndicate originated on February 13, 1987.[15] Within a month, Creators acquired the syndication rights to B.C. and Ask Ann Landers.[16]

North America Syndicate is now part of Hearst's syndication division, King Features Syndicate.[17][11]

Field Newspaper Syndicate comic stripsEdit

Strips that originated with Chicago Daily Times / Chicago Sun Syndicate / Field Enterprises / Field Newspaper Syndicate / Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Who's Who Among Leading U.S. Syndicate Executives," Editor & Publisher (September 7, 1946). Archived at "News of Yore 1946: Syndicate Executives Profiled," Stripper's Guide (July 21, 2010).
  2. ^ a b Holtz, Allan (April 13, 2010). "Obscurity of the Day: Hit or Miss". Archived from the original on October 9, 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  3. ^ "Owns The Chicago Sun: Field Enterprises, Inc., Organized By Marshall Field", ''The New York Times, 1 September 1944, page 22.
  4. ^ "Who’s Who Among Leading U.S. Syndicate Executives," Editor & Publisher (September 7, 1946), archived at "News of Yore 1946: Syndicate Executives Profiled," Stripper's Guide (July 21, 2010).
  5. ^ Harvey, R.C. "Milton Caniff, Steve Canyon and the Fair Sex," The Comics Journal (JUL 19, 2012).
  6. ^ a b Hicks, Wilson (December 7, 1959). "Discoverer Remembers a Promising Pair". Life. p. 97 (unnumbered). Retrieved February 12, 2016. ...Milt gave up Terry to do his current strip, Steve Canyon, for what is now the Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate.
  7. ^ Stetson, Damon. "Herald Tribune Is Closing Its News Service: But Meyer Says Columns That Appeared in Paper Will Be in Merged Publication," New York Times (June 24, 1966).
  8. ^ Toni Mendez Collection
  9. ^ Riley, Sam G.Biographical Dictionary of American Newspaper Columnists (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995), p. 191.
  10. ^ Friendly, Jonathan. "Murdoch Buys Chicago Sun-Times," The New York Times, 2 November 1983, page D1.
  11. ^ a b Storch, Charles. "Hearst To Buy Murdoch Syndicate," Chicago Tribune (December 25, 1986).
  12. ^ United Press International (October 21, 1986). "2 New York Papers Deny Merger Rumor". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. p. 2D. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  13. ^ Katina Alexander (June 14, 1987). "A Superhero For Cartoonists?". New York Times. p. 34. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  14. ^ David Astor (January 17, 1987). "Richard S. Newcombe leaves top exec post at NAS". Editor & Publisher. 120: 46.
  15. ^ Jeff Rowe (October 16, 1986). "Murdoch News America Group Is Up for Sale". Los Angeles Times. p. 4F. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  16. ^ King Features Syndicate profile. Archived 2006-10-29 at the Wayback Machine via Hearst Corporation
  17. ^ Goulart, Ron. "Jack and Betsy and Me". Hogan's Alley (Bull Moose Publishing) (May 18, 2012). Retrieved 2013-12-29.
  18. ^ Harry Sahle at the Lambiek Comiclopedia
  19. ^ VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch (Fantagraphics Books, 2013), p. 137.
  20. ^ a b Betsy and Me at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on August 27, 2015.
  21. ^ Dragonetti, Joseph W. "Two Humor Features From Inquirer Staffers," Editor & Publisher (May 31, 1952). Archived at Stripper's Guide.
  22. ^ "Helen L. Baldwin Dies; Music Teacher, Comic Strip Writer". Washington Post. 16 March 1998. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  23. ^ Robert Baldwin entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Dec. 4, 2017.
  24. ^ Field Enterprises, Inc., The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Monday 26 March 1956, Volume LXII, Number 178, page 9.
  25. ^ William Fay entry, Lambiek's Comiclopedia. Accessed Dec. 12, 2017.
  26. ^ Holtz, Allan. "Obscurity of the Day: McGonigle of the Chronicle," Stripper's Guide (September 3, 2015).
  27. ^ "Cartoon Laughs in a Medical Vein". The Daily Review (Hayward, California), January 19, 1966.