In recent years, DC Comics has branched out into many areas beyond just comics. But now, the company is looking to refocus back on publishing as part of a new restructuring that has lead to seven people—approximately three percent of its 240-staff workforce—departing the company.
Confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter last night—after earlier rumors in the day from Bleeding Cool had alleged that company mainstays like Dan Didio and Jim Lee could be leaving the publisher as part of ongoing restructuring at Warner Bros. at large (they’re not)—seven staff members were cut from the publisher following meetings yesterday. They include VP of sales trade marketing John Cunningham, VP of consumer marketing Eddie Scannell, and senior VP art director Mark Chiarello. On top of the cuts, DC’s in-house merchandise and collectibles wing, DC Collectibles, will be moved under the control of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, itself undergoing a restructuring at the moment that could see 10 percent of its workforce let go.
The move now means that DC Comics itself will operate under three branches with a focus on the creation and distribution of its stable of comics: Editorial, remaining under current editor-in-chief Bob Harras; Production & Manufacturing; and a new Publishing Support Services branch “which will handle sales, marketing and promotion for DC product.” That product, of course, being comic books.
A memo sent to staff about the layoffs and restructuring by Pam Lifford, the Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences President who oversees both DC Comics and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, noted that there are other divisions of DC that “are not fully dedicated to supporting the publishing business” and could see more potential changes in the future. Otherwise, the memo noted that, at least when it comes to making comics, DC is in for the long haul:
We recognize and appreciate that all of our employees have made considerable contributions to our business and that it is difficult to lose colleagues, many of whom have been here for a long time and have made an important impact on DC. We thank them for their hard work and dedication to DC. As always, we are committed to taking care of our employees and will be as thoughtful as possible with those who are impacted by these changes.
Together with Dan and Jim, 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.
We’ll bring you more on DC’s restructuring as and when we learn it.
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