The Scoop on Scoopy

09/29/2011 2:30 PM

09/30/2011 5:56 PM

Originally published in Papers of Permanence: The First 150 Years of the McClatchy Company

On Sept. 4, 1943, Bee readers were greeted to two new cartoon figures on Page 1. One was a bee waving a newspaper, the other a bee talking into a radio microphone. In between was a photo of the world-famous animator Walt Disney.

Anxious "to lend personality and a familiar identity to all the products" of the McClatchy company, accompanying article explained, Eleanor [McClatchy] had approached Disney about creating some logos. Disney, who did not ordinarily accept commercial work outisde his own studio, agreed to take on the assignment if the company would donate $1,500 to the Army Relief Fund.

Eleanor agreed, and thus was born Scoopy (the newspaper bee) and Gaby (the radio bee). Scoopy would come to adorn the front-page mastheads of all three papers, while Gaby was used on radio station promotional material. Over the years, staff artists added -- with Disney's person -- Flutey (for the company's FM stations), and Teevy (for the television stations). At least eight other variations of the character have appeared periodically over the years to celebrate various holidays or mark company promotions, or have been used on company merchandise. Each of the Bee newspapers also owns a life-size Scoopy costume that is donned to make public appearances.

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