[UPDATED] Cartoonist offends sports editors with his ‘insensitive’ sales pitch

Jay Schiller is trying to sell his cartoons to sports editors across the country, but his pitch is getting panned by the journalists who received his email Tuesday afternoon. It opens this way:


To the two thirds of you that will still have newspaper jobs next year,

Hopefully you can all take a joke. I don’t really mean it. Actually I should have said ‘the one half of you that will still have newspaper jobs next year’. Obviously we can all agree I am not a salesperson. …

A Romenesko reader writes: “I believe the count of newsroom leaders asking to be removed from his mailing list is now more than 60.”

Here’s one of the complaints sent to Schiller:


After your first sentence, I have no interest in looking at your cartoons. Might be one of the most insensitive things I’ve ever read. Everyone in this industry has good friends who have lost their jobs. You’re right, it’s no joke.
Please take me off your e-mail list.

Gene Warnick
Sports editor
Los Angeles News Group

Schiller tells Romenesko readers that his pitch “wasn’t such a good idea in retrospect.” He writes in an email:

“Normally most never respond so I tried something different. …In this case, different turned out to be stupid. … Seems like I am pissing off a lot of people these days.”

UPDATE: Schiller sent this apology email to his email list on Wednesday morning:

I want to apologize en masse ot those of you I offended. I’ll keep this mercifully short. The first cartoon I ever wrote a thousand years ago was a rejection letter that an aspiring writer received that read in part:

Rather than just reject your manuscript we have taken the liberty of destroying it as a public service to the rest of the industry if you are tempted to submit it elsewhere.

As you all know, getting your work looked at is hard under the best of circumstances. And these ain’t the best of circumstances these days.

I worked for newspapers in circulation for a lot of years and part of my job was doing budgets. Publishers and parent company executives, unable to maintain revenue, would look to cut expenses in all departments. This often included reducing what carriers making less than minimum wage were getting. Carriers who were getting up seven days a week at 2:00 or 3:00 am or sometime earlier than that and never getting a day off.

Everyone I know working at newspapers haven’t got raises in years and many have taken pay cuts and multiple unpaid furloughs. I probably should have known better in sending out what I did but my intent was never to offend; it was simply to garner a response to the work. Which I think is pretty good.

I guess besides pissing off a bunch of you, all my letter accomplished was to fill up a little space on what must have been a slow news day for Romenesko’s website. If he wanted to write about stupid things I’ve done, the letter I sent out wouldn’t even crack the top 50.

I hope you all do well and that newspapers become profitable enough to hire more people and pay their employees better. For those of you who wrote asking me to not to mail you any more cartoons, I will respect your wishes.