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The End of The Phantom in News Corp’s Regional Australian Newspapers

On June 27, 2020 News Corp closed over 100 print papers, with 14 titles to disappear completely. Over 100 of News Corp's regional and community titles no longer produce print editions and instead moved to digital-only formats. In addition, 14 titles will cease to exist. There are reports this amounts to over 500 job losses.

What this means for Phantom phans is that of the 100 papers, over half a dozen known Australian regional newspapers has seen the Phantom newspaper adventure comic also cancelled.

This decision is a mixture of the downward trend of traditional newspapers but also COVID-19 which has seen a lot of businesses downsize or close their doors.

Chronicle Chamber has contacted several newspaper editors and of the editors that have replied, they have all expressed a huge disappointment in the death of the regional Australian newspapers. One did express that it was not a sign of the Phantom's popularity but more the sign of the times with the demand of print.

From what we understand the newspapers that carried the newspaper Phantom adventures and have been cancelled are:

  • Daily Mercury

  • Fraser Coast Chronicle

  • The Morning Bulletin

  • News-Mail

  • The Observer

  • The Sunshine Coast Daily

  • The Northern Star

For many of the Australian regional readers this means the Australian Frew comic will be the only way phans can now read the latest adventures. This is why King Features Syndicate / Hearst Communications have to be smarter than what they currently are.

Newspapers around the world are closing down, adventure comic strips are being cancelled and the comic section in newspapers are getting smaller and smaller. KFS has to also move with the times and evolve the Phantom into more than just a syndicated newspaper character with the odd comic book.


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