DC Comics “Restructuring” Lays Off 7 Staff Members
Today is not a good day for seven staff members at DC Comics. As Deadline reports, Warner Bros., which owns DC Comics, has decided to release seven staff members that include SVPs and VPs.
“Among those let go today were SVP Art Director Mark Chiarello, SVP Sales Trade Marketing John Cunningham and VP consumer marketing Eddie Scannell.”
It seems Warner Bros. wants to “restructure” DC’s sales department.
“Back to Its Roots”
In part of her memo to DC staff about the layoffs, President of Warner Bros. Global Brand and Experiences Pam Lifford noted, “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.”
What “roots” DC will be getting back to is unclear. Are they going back to holding the line at $2.99? Another Crisis event? Who really knows? DC has recently canceled most of its “New Age of DC Heroes” line. But the new Wonder Comics line seems to be off to a good start. Obviously, someone is not happy with DC’s sales and the current goings-on in the company. From the wording of the full memo, it seems like Warner Bros. wants to change how DC markets and promotes the publishing side of things.
Making changes to marketing and promoting strategies cannot be a bad thing. Obviously, comics continue to struggle to get new readers. Digital seems the way to go; but we also do not get any hard data from companies about how books do digitally, either. So that is hard to say. New ways to promote comics are a hard sell for me.
The movies and shows do so well people often wonder why the comics don’t. It is going to be hard to convince somebody to drop $3-$5 dollars every month—or for more popular titles, every two weeks—for 20 or so pages of story. It will be interesting to see what actual changes are made by this restructuring and if it will actually help or not.
It’s never a good thing to hear someone has lost their job and we can all feel for these employees. But on the other hand, if changes need to be made and they work out then it can also be a good thing. I am all up for new ideas and ways to promote comic books; the more people that read them and the more money that comes in, the better, for everyone involved.
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