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  • Universal Press Syndicate, a subsidiary of Andrews McMeel Universal, is the world's largest independent press syndicate. It distributes lifestyle and opinion columns, comic strips and other content. Popular columns include Dear Abby, Ann Coulter, Roger Ebert and News of the Weird. In July 2009, Universal Press Syndicate merged with Uclick LLC to form Universal Uclick. Universal Press Syndicate was founded by John McMeel and Jim Andrews in 1970, two graduates of Notre Dame. Their early syndication success came as a result of Andrews reading the Yale Daily News. While clipping a column by a priest, he was distracted by Garry Trudeau's Bull Tales comic strip on the facing page. When Trudeau's Doonesbury debuted as a daily strip in two dozen newspapers on October 26, 1970, it was the first strip from Universal Press Syndicate, and a Sunday strip was launched March 21, 1971. Circulation of Doonesbury eventually expanded to more than 1,400 newspapers internationally. At first, ownership of the strips was in the hands of both the artist and the syndicate, but beginning in 1990, Universal Press gave them full rights to their respective works. The company also instituted a policy that says any cartoonist who has been with them for five years or more receives four weeks a year of vacation. Wikipedia

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