Even if your comics are the best ones out there, it’s tough to just publish books. You need to make action figures, movies, TV shows, various hats – you get the idea. But for a company like DC, that publishing core still has to hold everything else up, and it looks like some recent employee layoffs at DC are meant to start that process. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed this week that DC has laid off seven employees, or about 3 percent of its workforce.
While there were rumors about Jim Lee and Dan Didio leaving, that has turned out to have been just that – rumor. The seven staff members let go include a few execs: Senior VP sales trade marketing John Cunningham, VP consumer marketing Eddie Scannell, and senior VP art director Mark Chiarello are all out. THR reports that the company is being organized into three areas: Editorial, overseen by editor-in-chief Bob Harras; Production & Manufacturing handled by Alison Gill; and a new area, Publishing Support Services, which will be overseen by Hank Kanalz.
Io9 also cites a memo sent to DC staff about the layoff from parent company Warner Bros.’ global brands and experiences president Pam Lifford, where she said that there are other divisions within DC that are not fully dedicated to the publishing business and could be subject to changes in the future. Layoffs are never fun. Companies don’t let groups of people go when everything is going great. But when implemented well, layoffs can be used to, as DC intends, refocus the company on the kinds of stuff that helps the company survive and thrive. Here’s what Lifford had to say about that:
Together with Dan [Didio] and Jim [Lee], and the executive team, we have spent time assessing DC’s business, as well as the comic book publishing landscape. DC is going back to its roots of delivering epic stories with our world-class characters, stories and brands. Being a premier house of storytelling will never go out of style and we intend to ultimately super-serve our existing fans, while providing new compelling content that engages and excites even more fans around the globe. Rest assured, the direct market will remain at the heart of our business – and will continue to be one of our greatest strengths.
If all goes well, then this is great news for those of us with a never-ending to-read pile. Hopefully, further restructuring is minimal and doesn’t make good on those rumors about Lee and Didio.