After spending nearly thirty-years operating one incarnation or another of the well-known comic book news outlet, Newsarama co-founder Michael Doran has officially and completely exited the outlet.
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Doran’s exit was first reported by pop culture news outlet Popverse, who upon sending him a message on or around February 2nd, discovered that “any email sent to his GamesRadar+ email address” – provided by the company who currently owns and operates the comic book news site as a subsidiary brand – “prompts an auto-response that reads, ‘I am no longer at Newsarama.'”
In light of his no longer being associated with the outlet, Doran’s auto-response concludes by asking anyone attempting to reach him to instead contact either Newsarama writer George Marston or GamesRadar+ US mangaging editor Rollin Bishop.
It should be noted that, given both Doran’s departure and the fact that Bishop is officially considered a GamesRadar+ employee, Marston is now the only employee currently working for the company under the Newsarama name.
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Doran began his career reporting on the goings-on and happenings of the Western comic book industry with in an independent, roaming internet column, publishing news and rumors to multiple forums (such as Prodigy and Usenet) throughout the mid-90s.
He would soon be joined in this endeavor by a variety of writers, most notably Matt Brady, with whom he would eventually partner with in the late-90s to found the Newsarama brand proper.
The two would go on to launch Newsarama’s own independent website in 2002, thanks to a significant investment of funds and support from filmmaker Kevin Smith and his ViewAskew.com network.
Surprisingly, Doran would temporarily leave the company just three months after, accepting an offer to work for Marvel Comics as their communications director. However, this brief absence would be just that, as he would shortly return to once again help helm his creation.
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Business would continue as usual for the next few years until 2007, at which point Newsarama went independent from the ViewAskew.com network and was shortly thereafter purchased by the Imaginova media corporation.
Two years after this development, Brady would step down from the site, leaving it in the hands of Doran and fellow contributor-turned-emergency-editor Lucas Siegel.
A few months later, Newsarama would be sold to fellow media corporation TopTenREVIEWS – now Purch Group – who would hold the site as an asset for a further nine years before changing ownership once again and coming under possession of Future US in 2018.
Then, in 2020, Future US announced that it would be folding Newsarama under their GamesRadar+ outlet, where it has operated ever since.
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Responding to the news via his personal Twitter account, former Newsarama writer and current Popverse Editor-in-Chief Chris Arrant implored, “Now would be a good time to note if there’s comic journalism you like, you should support it financially.”
“If they offer memberships or take donations, do so,” he added. “If they take ads, buy ads (or encourage your company to). If you wait for perfect, you will be waiting a long time.”
“Journalism, like justice, is never perfect,” declared the writer. “But consider where you would be – where we would be – without it.”
Going on to recommend a number of outlets that readers could support including Comics Beat, Comic Book Herald, and Women Write About Comics, Arrant continued, “When the next really good or really bad situation happens in comics, what resources do you want to be able to help research, corroborate, explain, defuse, and/or highlight what’s REALLY happening.”
“We have all lost comics/ents. journalism outlets,” he said. “They could’ve made it longer had we supported it more. Your favorite outlets and reporters could be gone tomorrow if it becomes financially, physically, or emotionally unfeasible for them.”
However, it seems Arrant’s concern for audiences being informed about the industry only extends to ensuring that clique-like-outlets maintain authority rather than actually providing readers with the news, as he concluded his thoughts by warning his readers, “If you get your comic news exclusively through social media, ask yourself if you trust the source inside that social media.”
“Think about any biases that might be present, especially with direct sources,” he said, failing to see how this same standard should be rigorously applied, if not more so, to entire outlets.
As of writing, Doran has not publicly commented on the reasons for his departure.
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