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Hearst Agrees to Buy News America Syndicate

December 24, 1986 GMT

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) _ Hearst Corp. said Wednesday it agreed to acquire News America Syndicate, a distributor of newspaper features, from News Corp. Ltd., the international media company controlled by publisher Rupert Murdoch.

The deal would solidify the position of Hearst’s King Features Syndicate as the world’s largest syndicator of comics, editorial cartoons, advice columns and opinion-page essays.

Terms of the proposed sale weren’t disclosed, but News Corp. reportedly was seeking about $24 million when it put the syndicate on the auction block in September.

New York-based Hearst, a major U.S. media concern, said the deal was expected to be completed early next year.

News America, headquartered in Irvine, previously was known as Field Syndicate and was founded in 1942 by Marshall Field III as the Chicago Sun Syndicate. It was acquired by Murdoch along with the Chicago Sun-Times in 1984.

News America distributes about 85 features, compared with about 130 by King Features. Both supply about 3,000 newspapers worldwide.

News America distributes such cartoons as ″B.C.,″ ″The Wizard of Id,″ ″Andy Capp,″ ″Dennis the Menace,″ ″Crock,″ ″Marvin,″ ″Momma,″ ″Mary Worth,″ ″Rex Morgan, M.D.,″ ″Tumbleweeds″ and ″Funky Winkerbean.″

It also distributes two major political cartoonists - Bill Mauldin and Herbert Block.

Its columnists include Ann Landers, Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, Gary Deeb, Roger Ebert, Dr. Lawrence Lamb and Carl Rowan.