IDW announced a series of internal promotions since laying off nearly 40% of their workforce, and delisting itself from the New York Stock Exchange. Comic fans are already scratching their heads at one of the promotions that of Heather Antos who will now run the company’s entire licensing division.
As for higher-level executives, the media holdings company announced Davidi Jonas as CEO and Joshua Frankel as CDO. Mark Doyle and Tara McCrillis have been promoted to Co-Publishers, with Amber Huerta as COO, and Jamie S. Rich as Editor-in-Chief.
Jonas was formerly IDW’s Chief Strategy Officer, which is an odd choice as the company’s strategy seems to have been failing rapidly in recent days, so staying the course and moving those strategies to the Chief Executive Officer position would follow that similar strategies would be implemented.
One of those strategies seems to be doubling down on woke activist Heather Antos by lifting her from Senior Editor of their Star Trek line to overseeing all of their licensed products. IDW has few creator-owned properties, so its publishing group thrives on its licenses.
Antos’s editorial work has been criticized nearly her entire career in the comic book industry beginning with Marvel Comics. After departing Marvel she joined Valiant Comics where her creative team hires completely undermined the comic lines from the highly regarded 2012 superhero universe relaunch.
Her work led to formerly popular books like X-O Manowar being canceled in only nine issues after its relaunch. Since joining IDW Publishing, her Star Trek editorial work also has been riddled with continuity errors which have fans grumbling.
Antos’ promotion comes after IDW’s licensing line took a huge hit. The company lost the rights to Transformers and G.I. Joe, which they had for seventeen years. Both lines have lost fans because identity politics were injected into the stories.
IDW is also losing the rights to Disney’s all-ages, child-friendly lines. These include several Marvel superheroes in simpler form as well as the popular Star Wars Adventures. This license is set to expire later this year.
Though she has a crippled lineup of properties to work with, fans noticed that Antos updated her Twitter profile to brag about her new promotion. The profile now says, “Group Editor, Licensing at IDW on STAR TREK, Sonic & more!”
Her quick proclamation of her success seems a slight to the IDW employees who lost their jobs a week ago, in which Antos made no public statement.
She has also been gloating about buying a new home in recent weeks, stating how much money she is making now compared to when she was at Marvel. An odd choice while the company she works for is in such peril and her colleagues are losing their employment.
Interestingly, the company’s new CEO Davidi Jonas recently told Heidi McDonald at ComicsBeat why he and the board made the operational decisions they did, “I went to the drawing board, I spoke to a bunch of people who I trust in editorial, and said, okay, look, if I was going to build a business from scratch, if I was going to go into comics right now and build an organization from the ground up, what are the functions and the talents that I’d want inside that org and what’s the culture I’d want to build inside that org?”
He added, “So that was the way we built the company and decided who was going to be staying on and who we were going to bring on after we made these hard choices.”
As far as his plans for licensing, Jonas relayed, “I don’t see us moving away from licensed. And I don’t see us moving away from originals. I see us doubling down on what we’re doing. I’ve been saying this over and over, just to remind myself we are not in a bad business, we’re in a great business, we just need to figure out the connection and the distribution.”
“We have fans that love what we do, and if the margins aren’t high enough, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad business,” he continued. “That means we need to figure out the margins and how to connect with our fans in a meaningful way.”
“The great thing is the fans actually want it to happen. We’re not like some henchmen plotting a plan [to fool] consumers, this is actually what the fans want. They would love to have more TV shows around the books they love, they’d love to have conferences, and podcasts and engagement with the artists and the writers. These are all things that we can do,” he elaborated.
It seems IDW has a problem of executives who are focused on themselves and identity politics, and not taking good care of the wealth of properties at their disposal. With this doubling down on corporate strategy, comic readers wonder how low IDW can go before it finally goes bankrupt.
What do you think of IDW’s promotions? Leave a comment down below and let us know.