Exit Interview: Doug MacGregor, Cartoonist at the Ft. Myers News-Press

Doug MacGregor had worked for the News-Press since 1998 and was laid off during Gannett’s cutting of 700 positions nationwide last week.

The Daily Cartoonist spoke with MacGregor about the job and his next steps.

“I had lunch with my boss a couple of weeks prior,” MacGregor said, “and at that time he let me know cuts were coming and I would probably be on the list of layoffs. It surprised me somewhat, having absorbed another round of furloughs in Q1. Although there were no assurances things were safe, I believed (wrongly believed) things would get better financially. I’m an optimist. So when this past Tuesday came around, the dreaded knock on the door happened about 2pm.”

He was called into a conference room, given the announcement, and sent back to his desk. MacGregor left the building at 4, but wanted to finish the cartoon that was due at 5:15. “I finished inking at home, scanned the large original in two parts, joined them together, photoshopped it, did a b & w and color version and e-mailed them to my boss right at 5:15 pm! And I got a say, the cartoon came out pretty darn good considering I had just lost my job.”

He says he plans to teach art, freelance, use his art to get kids to read more books and “get parents to share more creative moments with their kids.” He also says he plans to spend more time with friends and family and “do my best to stay happy, healthy with this new expensive health care coverage.”

MacGregor is also a children’s book illustrator. That’s where this illo of a slightly chagrined girl (maybe she just got laid off too) comes from.