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King Features: We Denied 'Inquirer' Request

By Dave Astor

Published: January 29, 2004

NEW YORK King Features Syndicate President T.R. Shepard III said King never gave the Philadelphia Inquirer permission to run its comics at no charge.

"It was an extraordinary request, and at no point did we agree to it," said Shepard, who phoned E&P today after seeing a story ("Philly 'Inquirer' Asks for Comics at No Charge) about the Inquirer's request on this site.

In that article, three non-King sources suggested King had agreed to allow the Inquirer to run its comics for free for several months. Before running the story, E&P contacted a King executive (not Shepard), who declined to confirm or deny the suspended billing. "I really don't want to comment on that," the executive had said, noting he wasn't comfortable discussing negotiations between the syndicate and a client.

Dave Astor ( is senior editor for E&P.

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