UPDATED with memo to staff: DC Comics has laid off seven employees including two SVPs and a VP in a restructuring move, Deadline has confirmed. The cuts represent 3% of the company’s 240-employee workforce.
Among those let go today were SVP Art Director Mark Chiarello, SVP Sales Trade Marketing John Cunningham and VP consumer marketing Eddie Scannell.
In addition to the staff cuts at the publishing arm of DC Entertainment, Pam Lifford, President of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences, said that DC’s editorial unit will continue to be run by SVP & Editor in Chief Bob Harras, who adds oversight of new initiatives and global publishing, editorial scheduling, and art direction. Also, SVP Manufacturing & Operations Alison Gill will continue to run the Production & Manufacturing unit.
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Lifford also unveiled a new business unit, Publishing Support Services, which encompasses all departments that support the sales, marketing and promotion of DC’s books. It will be overseen by Hank Kanalz, who is taking on more responsibility as SVP Publishing Strategy & Support Services.
DC Comics, of course, is home to such iconic superhero characters as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Green Arrow and the collective Justice League. The company’s name is a reference to Detective Comics, the monthly comic book series that introduced Batman in 1939. DC Comics was a longtime fixture of midtown Manhattan, but the unit’s move west to Burbank was completed in 2015.
Here is Lifford’s full memo to staff:
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.” – Pam
Geoff Boucher contributed to this report.
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