You’re a good commodity, Charlie Brown

This just in via Sopwith Camel…

The E.W. Scripps Company, the struggling one-time media giant whose newspaper empire has in recent years been shrinking as if it had been dunked in ice water, today sold its subsidiary United Media Licensing for $175 million.

United Media‘s best-known property is Peanuts, the seminal comic strip created by the late Charles M. Schulz. The company’s new majority owner is Iconix Brand Group, the marketing force behind Joe Boxer underwear, London Fog raincoats, and Starter athletic wear.

I’m guessing that Charlie Brown’s baseball team will be sporting Starter jackets this season. And, I suppose, Joe Boxer supporters. Although that’s probably more information than you wanted.

The local angle here is that Schulz’s family buys into the deal for a 20 percent stake in United Media. This will give the Schulz heirs some degree of ongoing control over Peanuts licensed merchandise, which racks up gross sales in the neighborhood of $2 billion annually. That shakes out to net revenue of approximately $75-90 million. Not too shabby a legacy for a cartoonist working out of an office in an ice skating arena in Sonoma County, California.

By the way, if you’re ever in town, stop by the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. Run by Jean Schulz, the artist’s widow, the museum always has fascinating and entertaining themed collections of original Peanuts strips on display. The museum also frequently hosts special exhibitions and educational programs, including its popular Cartoonist-In-Residence series the second Saturday of each month. Recent Cartoonists-In-Residence have included Keith Knight (The K Chronicles), Scott Kurtz (Player vs. Player), and Brian Fies (Mom’s Cancer). Plus, there’s always the off chance that you might bump into Paige Braddock, the Eisner Award-winning creator of Jane’s World, who’s the creative director for Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates and the mastermind behind all of the Peanuts licensed merchandise you see everywhere you look. (Somebody has to be.)

I have a feeling that Snoopy and the gang will quaff a root beer or two over this latest bonanza.

Explore posts in the same categories: Celebritiana, Dead People Got No Reason to Live, Good Reads, My Home Town, That's Cool!, Wonderful World of Advertising

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