DC is reportedly laying off seven employees as part of a restructuring designed to put a greater focus on publishing. The company will also reorganize into three areas focusing on Editorial, Production & Manufacturing and the newly-formed Publishing Support Services.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the layoffs include Senior Vice President of Sales Trade Marketing John Cunningham, Vice President of Consumer Marketing Eddie Scannell and Senior Vice President of Art Direction Mark Chiarello. The reported layoffs account for three percent of DC's workforce of 240 people.
As of the restructuring, Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras will oversee Editorial; Senior Vice President of Manufacturing & Operations Alison Gill remains in charge of Production & Manufacturing; and Senior Vice President of Editorial Strategy & Administration Hank Kanalz will handle sales, marketing and promotion for Publishing Support Services under the title Senior Vice President Publishing Strategy & Support Services.
Other moves include the restructuring of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, with DC Collectibles moving under the division and a layoff of 10 percent of staff, according to THR sources.
2018 saw a number of high-level behind-the-scenes moves at DC. Diane Nelson stepped down from her position as DC Entertainment President back in June after holding the position for since 2009, and had been with Warner Bros. for more than 22 years. In Nelson's time as DC President, the company launched bold publishing initiatives including The New 52, DC You and DC Rebirth. In 2015, DC publishing moved from its birthplace of New York City to Burbank, California, joining Warner Bros. on the west coast.
June was also when Geoff Johns stepped away from his executive position at DC Entertainment to focus on creative projects at Warner Bros. and DC. Johns signed an exclusive writer/producer deal with Warner Bros. and DC, with Jim Lee taking over as DC's Chief Creative Officer while remaining as DC Publisher alongside Dan DiDio, a position they've both held since 2010.
THR obtained an internal memo written by President of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences Pam Lifford and sent to DC employees on Wednesday, which you can read below:
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.