A new report indicates DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. will layoff 3% of its workforce or 7 of its 240 person staff.
The Hollywood Reporter indicates that the staff affected are some higher-ups at DC including Senior VP of Sales Trade Marketing John Cunningham, VP of Consumer Marketing Eddie Scannell, and Senior VP Art Director Mark Chiarello.
Bleeding Cool initially ran a report indicating that DC publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee might leave the company. However, The Hollywood Reporter indicates this is not the case and they both will continue in their current positions.
The report indicates these changes are being made “as part of an organization restructure of the Warner Bros. division that will see it focus on its original core business of publishing.”
In an email to DC staff, Pam Lifford indicates the company will go “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.”
Not only are there reports of DC laying off its staff, but Lifford indicates the company will also be reorganized into three different sectors: editorial, production and manufacturing, and publishing support services.
Editorial will be overseen by editor-in-chief Bob Harras. Allison Gill will be oversee production and manufacturing as the the Senior VP. Finally, publishing support services, which is expected to deal with marketing, promotion, and sales will be led by Hank Kanalz.
DC Collectibles will be brought under Warner Bros. Consumer Products’ Toy arm. It will no longer be housed in DC.
Not only is Warner Bros. making changes to DC, but the report also indicates Warner Bros. Consumer Products laid off 10 percent of their staff.
President of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences Pam Lifford who oversees DC and Warner Bros. Consumer Products sent a memo to staff about the changes:
“Today has been a challenging day. We have made organizational changes across DC that we believe will help to strengthen and evolve the division for future success. With these changes come difficult decisions which we take very seriously.
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.
The new streamlined structure is focused on creating, delivering and supporting a robust publishing operation that will allow DC to be nimble, navigate an industry in change, and thrive. As we communicated today, we are forming three distinct work streams – Editorial, Production & Manufacturing and Publishing Support Services.
• Editorial will continue to be run by Bob Harras, SVP & Editor-In-Chief, who will now also be responsible for new initiatives and global publishing, editorial scheduling, and art direction
• Production & Manufacturing will continue to be run by Alison Gill, SVP Manufacturing & Operations
• Publishing Support Services is a new business unit consisting of all departments that support the sales, marketing and promotion of our books, and this will be run by Hank Kanalz who is taking on additional responsibilities as SVP Publishing Strategy & Support Services As a result – DC Collectibles and its team will be part of the Consumer Products Toy team moving forward.
We recognize there are other groups across DC who are not fully dedicated to supporting the publishing business and, therefore, are not directly addressed in today’s news. As The Global Brands & Experiences structure continues to develop, I look forward to sharing more with you as that evolves.
Many of you will have questions and in the coming days you will receive more information from Bob, Alison and Hank about their teams. Together with Dan and Jim, I will be hosting Town Hall meetings Thursday on the individual floors to discuss these changes and provide more insight.
Thank you again for your support, hard work and loyalty to DC. Each of you are incredibly valued and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow afternoon where I will do my best to answer any questions.
This change to DC’s staff comes after Warner Bros. and its entities which include The CW, Cartoon Network, CNN, DC Comics, and HBO was bought by AT&T last year after winning an antitrust lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department.
It also comes after significant changes to DC Entertainment over the past year. Diane Nelson stepped down as President of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer after 22 years. After Nelson stepped down, DC president and creative officer Geoff Johns would also leave the company. However, Johns would announce an exclusive partnership with DC Entertainment that involves his involvement in DC movies, television and comics.
DC also launched their own streaming service last year in DC Universe. The platform was flagshipped by the original series Titans, but early rumors indicate the service is struggling to bring in membership.
What do you make about these changes?