The New York Times doesn't really have any cartoons (I did a comic about this some months back) but they run a few political comics in the Sunday paper under the name "Laugh Lines"
A number of cartoonists e-mailed me this week with the same question, "Hey, Daryl, I saw your cartoon in the Times, how do I get my own cartoons in the Times?" I regret that the reality behind the big-time political cartooning business is a little disappointing. Here's how it works: dozens of cartoonists around the world e-mail their cartoons to the Times and other "pay-per-use" newspapers who accept unsolicited submissions. It is the same thing with USA Today, send it in and if they run it, they pay $50 - but the Times is a little different. Instead of just paying $50, the Times doesn't pay unless the cartoonist notices that they ran the cartoon and sends them an invoice. The Times doesn't tell the cartoonist that they ran the cartoon and if they don't receive an invoice, the Times saves the $50.That's how the most respected newspaper on the planet treats cartoonists. Worse than a whore.
All of you have just had a peek into how lucrative this whole thing is. The NYT pays 50 whopping dollars for a cartoon. Now, magazines and even free weeklies with much lower circulation pay higher than that for reprints. $50 for a circulation of over a million is almost as respectable as having the Editors pull down their pants and piss on your face. It's the Times--every cartoonist wants in and most would gladly offer their work for free so they could add "New York Times" to their bio. I probably would. And that's the state of my profession.