Imagine a TV producer bitching about all the reruns that dominate cable TV. "Everybody Loves Raymond is the soul-crushing killer of television."
It would be more comparable if NBC decided to continue showing Seinfeld reruns for their Thursday night 9:00 PM slot, even after Jerry Seinfeld had ended the show.
I'm pretty sure NBC would do that if they thought they could get away with it. My point is that cartoonists should argue that replacing old stuff with new stuff will lead to increased readership, not that a newspaper comic page should exist for the benefit of the cartoonist.
I didn't come to the same conclusion you did after reading the quote.
Anyway, yeah, I don't mind some long running strips to be continued like Doonesbury. It's not my favorite but to my knowledge it's still done by the same artist and it's atleast about current events. Not "I hate Spiders/Mondays" forever, and needing a ghost artist for that.
Allen makes a good point about newspapers and the internet. But like I said, if your competition is the internet (and this is only in regards to the comics section of a paper) you'd think you'd step it up a bit considering your still publishing a comics page.
Maybe it's like Marvel and DC. They have an old fanbase of diehards that want to read the further adventures of Superman/Garfield forever and ever, and not try anything new. Not enough younger readers to appeal to.
Then again, even way before the internet there was problems with the comics page that people like Breathed and Watterson were vocal about, whether it be the size of the strips or strips created by a corporation and not an artist (although Robotman turned out to be really good).